Composite structures are designed to withstand severe circumstances in terms of both mechanical loading (quasi static and dynamic) and environmental conditions. In both the short or long term this will eventually lead to the degradation of the structure. Monitoring and understanding the degradation mechanisms is fundamental to the development of composite materials.
We have developed an integrity assessment technique that takes advantage of the electrical conductivity in carbon fiber reinforced composite. Due to mechanical strain and damage accumulation the electric resistance or potential may vary. This can be detected using a specific electrode setup and design (electrode constitution, spatial disposition, current control, etc). We develop micromechanical modeling (influence of fiber realignment and corresponding contact changes, fiber breakage) and inverse approaches.
We also explore the durability and the change of properties of thermoplastic and thermoset composite materials subjected to hygroscopic and/or thermal loadings (including manufacturing), using embedded fiber Bragg gratings (FBG). We investigate solutions of structural health monitoring (SHM) technique based on surface bonded or embedded optical fiber sensors.
Funding Agency: KAUST Baseline, SABIC