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Structural Health Monitoring: Acoustic Emissions

Description

Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) is integral to preserving the structural health of materials. Techniques that fall under the NDT category are able to evaluate integrity and condition of a material without permanently altering any property of the material. Additionally,

Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) is integral to preserving the structural health of materials. Techniques that fall under the NDT category are able to evaluate integrity and condition of a material without permanently altering any property of the material. Additionally, they can typically be used while the material is in active use instead of needing downtime for inspection.
The two general categories of structural health monitoring (SHM) systems include passive and active monitoring. Active SHM systems utilize an input of energy to monitor the health of a structure (such as sound waves in ultrasonics), while passive systems do not. As such, passive SHM tends to be more desirable. A system could be permanently fixed to a critical location, passively accepting signals until it records a damage event, then localize and characterize the damage. This is the goal of acoustic emissions testing.
When certain types of damage occur, such as matrix cracking or delamination in composites, the corresponding release of energy creates sound waves, or acoustic emissions, that propagate through the material. Audio sensors fixed to the surface can pick up data from both the time and frequency domains of the wave. With proper data analysis, a time of arrival (TOA) can be calculated for each sensor allowing for localization of the damage event. The frequency data can be used to characterize the damage.
In traditional acoustic emissions testing, the TOA combined with wave velocity and information about signal attenuation in the material is used to localize events. However, in instances of complex geometries or anisotropic materials (such as carbon fibre composites), velocity and attenuation can vary wildly based on the direction of interest. In these cases, localization can be based off of the time of arrival distances for each sensor pair. This technique is called Delta T mapping, and is the main focus of this study.

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2019-05

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Adaptive methods within a sequential Bayesian approach for structural health monitoring

Description

Structural integrity is an important characteristic of performance for critical components used in applications such as aeronautics, materials, construction and transportation. When appraising the structural integrity of these components, evaluation methods must be accurate. In addition to possessing capability to

Structural integrity is an important characteristic of performance for critical components used in applications such as aeronautics, materials, construction and transportation. When appraising the structural integrity of these components, evaluation methods must be accurate. In addition to possessing capability to perform damage detection, the ability to monitor the level of damage over time can provide extremely useful information in assessing the operational worthiness of a structure and in determining whether the structure should be repaired or removed from service. In this work, a sequential Bayesian approach with active sensing is employed for monitoring crack growth within fatigue-loaded materials. The monitoring approach is based on predicting crack damage state dynamics and modeling crack length observations. Since fatigue loading of a structural component can change while in service, an interacting multiple model technique is employed to estimate probabilities of different loading modes and incorporate this information in the crack length estimation problem. For the observation model, features are obtained from regions of high signal energy in the time-frequency plane and modeled for each crack length damage condition. Although this observation model approach exhibits high classification accuracy, the resolution characteristics can change depending upon the extent of the damage. Therefore, several different transmission waveforms and receiver sensors are considered to create multiple modes for making observations of crack damage. Resolution characteristics of the different observation modes are assessed using a predicted mean squared error criterion and observations are obtained using the predicted, optimal observation modes based on these characteristics. Calculation of the predicted mean square error metric can be computationally intensive, especially if performed in real time, and an approximation method is proposed. With this approach, the real time computational burden is decreased significantly and the number of possible observation modes can be increased. Using sensor measurements from real experiments, the overall sequential Bayesian estimation approach, with the adaptive capability of varying the state dynamics and observation modes, is demonstrated for tracking crack damage.

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2013

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Probabilistic fatigue damage localization at unknown temperatures using guided wave methods

Description

This research examines the current challenges of using Lamb wave interrogation methods to localize fatigue crack damage in a complex metallic structural component subjected to unknown temperatures. The goal of this work is to improve damage localization results for a

This research examines the current challenges of using Lamb wave interrogation methods to localize fatigue crack damage in a complex metallic structural component subjected to unknown temperatures. The goal of this work is to improve damage localization results for a structural component interrogated at an unknown temperature, by developing a probabilistic and reference-free framework for estimating Lamb wave velocities and the damage location. The methodology for damage localization at unknown temperatures includes the following key elements: i) a model that can describe the change in Lamb wave velocities with temperature; ii) the extension of an advanced time-frequency based signal processing technique for enhanced time-of-flight feature extraction from a dispersive signal; iii) the development of a Bayesian damage localization framework incorporating data association and sensor fusion. The technique requires no additional transducers to be installed on a structure, and allows for the estimation of both the temperature and the wave velocity in the component. Additionally, the framework of the algorithm allows it to function completely in an unsupervised manner by probabilistically accounting for all measurement origin uncertainty. The novel algorithm was experimentally validated using an aluminum lug joint with a growing fatigue crack. The lug joint was interrogated using piezoelectric transducers at multiple fatigue crack lengths, and at temperatures between 20°C and 80°C. The results showed that the algorithm could accurately predict the temperature and wave speed of the lug joint. The localization results for the fatigue damage were found to correlate well with the true locations at long crack lengths, but loss of accuracy was observed in localizing small cracks due to time-of-flight measurement errors. To validate the algorithm across a wider range of temperatures the electromechanically coupled LISA/SIM model was used to simulate the effects of temperatures. The numerical results showed that this approach would be capable of experimentally estimating the temperature and velocity in the lug joint for temperatures from -60°C to 150°C. The velocity estimation algorithm was found to significantly increase the accuracy of localization at temperatures above 120°C when error due to incorrect velocity selection begins to outweigh the error due to time-of-flight measurements.

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2013

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Multiscale Modeling & Virtual Sensing for Structural Health Monitoring

Description

Damage assessment and residual useful life estimation (RULE) are essential for aerospace, civil and naval structures. Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) attempts to automate the process of damage detection and identification. Multiscale modeling is a key element in SHM. It not

Damage assessment and residual useful life estimation (RULE) are essential for aerospace, civil and naval structures. Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) attempts to automate the process of damage detection and identification. Multiscale modeling is a key element in SHM. It not only provides important information on the physics of failure, such as damage initiation and growth, the output can be used as "virtual sensing" data for detection and prognosis. The current research is part of an ongoing multidisciplinary effort to develop an integrated SHM framework for metallic aerospace components. In this thesis a multiscale model has been developed by bridging the relevant length scales, micro, meso and macro (or structural scale). Micro structural representations obtained from material characterization studies are used to define the length scales and to capture the size and orientation of the grains at the micro level. Parametric studies are conducted to estimate material parameters used in this constitutive model. Numerical and experimental simulations are performed to investigate the effects of Representative Volume Element (RVE) size, defect area fraction and distribution. A multiscale damage criterion accounting for crystal orientation effect is developed. This criterion is applied for fatigue crack initial stage prediction. A damage evolution rule based on strain energy density is modified to incorporate crystal plasticity at the microscale (local). Optimization approaches are used to calculate global damage index which is used for the RVE failure prediciton. Potential cracking directions are provided from the damage criterion simultaneously. A wave propagation model is incorporated with the damage model to detect changes in sensing signals due to plastic deformation and damage growth.

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Date Created
2011

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Damage detection in blade-stiffened anisotropic composite panels using lamb wave mode conversions

Description

Composite materials are increasingly being used in aircraft, automobiles, and other applications due to their high strength to weight and stiffness to weight ratios. However, the presence of damage, such as delamination or matrix cracks, can significantly compromise the performance

Composite materials are increasingly being used in aircraft, automobiles, and other applications due to their high strength to weight and stiffness to weight ratios. However, the presence of damage, such as delamination or matrix cracks, can significantly compromise the performance of these materials and result in premature failure. Structural components are often manually inspected to detect the presence of damage. This technique, known as schedule based maintenance, however, is expensive, time-consuming, and often limited to easily accessible structural elements. Therefore, there is an increased demand for robust and efficient Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) techniques that can be used for Condition Based Monitoring, which is the method in which structural components are inspected based upon damage metrics as opposed to flight hours. SHM relies on in situ frameworks for detecting early signs of damage in exposed and unexposed structural elements, offering not only reduced number of schedule based inspections, but also providing better useful life estimates. SHM frameworks require the development of different sensing technologies, algorithms, and procedures to detect, localize, quantify, characterize, as well as assess overall damage in aerospace structures so that strong estimations in the remaining useful life can be determined. The use of piezoelectric transducers along with guided Lamb waves is a method that has received considerable attention due to the weight, cost, and function of the systems based on these elements. The research in this thesis investigates the ability of Lamb waves to detect damage in feature dense anisotropic composite panels. Most current research negates the effects of experimental variability by performing tests on structurally simple isotropic plates that are used as a baseline and damaged specimen. However, in actual applications, variability cannot be negated, and therefore there is a need to research the effects of complex sample geometries, environmental operating conditions, and the effects of variability in material properties. This research is based on experiments conducted on a single blade-stiffened anisotropic composite panel that localizes delamination damage caused by impact. The overall goal was to utilize a correlative approach that used only the damage feature produced by the delamination as the damage index. This approach was adopted because it offered a simplistic way to determine the existence and location of damage without having to conduct a more complex wave propagation analysis or having to take into account the geometric complexities of the test specimen. Results showed that even in a complex structure, if the damage feature can be extracted and measured, then an appropriate damage index can be associated to it and the location of the damage can be inferred using a dense sensor array. The second experiment presented in this research studies the effects of temperature on damage detection when using one test specimen for a benchmark data set and another for damage data collection. This expands the previous experiment into exploring not only the effects of variable temperature, but also the effects of high experimental variability. Results from this work show that the damage feature in the data is not only extractable at higher temperatures, but that the data from one panel at one temperature can be directly compared to another panel at another temperature for baseline comparison due to linearity of the collected data.

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Date Created
2012

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Integrated structural health management of complex carbon fiber reinforced composite structures

Description

Structural health management (SHM) is emerging as a vital methodology to help engineers improve the safety and maintainability of critical structures. SHM systems are designed to reliably monitor and test the health and performance of structures in aerospace, civil, and

Structural health management (SHM) is emerging as a vital methodology to help engineers improve the safety and maintainability of critical structures. SHM systems are designed to reliably monitor and test the health and performance of structures in aerospace, civil, and mechanical engineering applications. SHM combines multidisciplinary technologies including sensing, signal processing, pattern recognition, data mining, high fidelity probabilistic progressive damage models, physics based damage models, and regression analysis. Due to the wide application of carbon fiber reinforced composites and their multiscale failure mechanisms, it is necessary to emphasize the research of SHM on composite structures. This research develops a comprehensive framework for the damage detection, localization, quantification, and prediction of the remaining useful life of complex composite structures. To interrogate a composite structure, guided wave propagation is applied to thin structures such as beams and plates. Piezoelectric transducers are selected because of their versatility, which allows them to be used as sensors and actuators. Feature extraction from guided wave signals is critical to demonstrate the presence of damage and estimate the damage locations. Advanced signal processing techniques are employed to extract robust features and information. To provide a better estimate of the damage for accurate life estimation, probabilistic regression analysis is used to obtain a prediction model for the prognosis of complex structures subject to fatigue loading. Special efforts have been applied to the extension of SHM techniques on aerospace and spacecraft structures, such as UAV composite wings and deployable composite boom structures. Necessary modifications of the developed SHM techniques were conducted to meet the unique requirements of the aerospace structures. The developed SHM algorithms are able to accurately detect and quantify impact damages as well as matrix cracking introduced.

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Date Created
2012

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Multiscale modeling of heterogeneous material systems

Description

Damage detection in heterogeneous material systems is a complex problem and requires an in-depth understanding of the material characteristics and response under varying load and environmental conditions. A significant amount of research has been conducted in this field to enhance

Damage detection in heterogeneous material systems is a complex problem and requires an in-depth understanding of the material characteristics and response under varying load and environmental conditions. A significant amount of research has been conducted in this field to enhance the fidelity of damage assessment methodologies, using a wide range of sensors and detection techniques, for both metallic materials and composites. However, detecting damage at the microscale is not possible with commercially available sensors. A probable way to approach this problem is through accurate and efficient multiscale modeling techniques, which are capable of tracking damage initiation at the microscale and propagation across the length scales. The output from these models will provide an improved understanding of damage initiation; the knowledge can be used in conjunction with information from physical sensors to improve the size of detectable damage. In this research, effort has been dedicated to develop multiscale modeling approaches and associated damage criteria for the estimation of damage evolution across the relevant length scales. Important issues such as length and time scales, anisotropy and variability in material properties at the microscale, and response under mechanical and thermal loading are addressed. Two different material systems have been studied: metallic material and a novel stress-sensitive epoxy polymer.

For metallic material (Al 2024-T351), the methodology initiates at the microscale where extensive material characterization is conducted to capture the microstructural variability. A statistical volume element (SVE) model is constructed to represent the material properties. Geometric and crystallographic features including grain orientation, misorientation, size, shape, principal axis direction and aspect ratio are captured. This SVE model provides a computationally efficient alternative to traditional techniques using representative volume element (RVE) models while maintaining statistical accuracy. A physics based multiscale damage criterion is developed to simulate the fatigue crack initiation. The crack growth rate and probable directions are estimated simultaneously.

Mechanically sensitive materials that exhibit specific chemical reactions upon external loading are currently being investigated for self-sensing applications. The "smart" polymer modeled in this research consists of epoxy resin, hardener, and a stress-sensitive material called mechanophore The mechanophore activation is based on covalent bond-breaking induced by external stimuli; this feature can be used for material-level damage detections. In this work Tris-(Cinnamoyl oxymethyl)-Ethane (TCE) is used as the cyclobutane-based mechanophore (stress-sensitive) material in the polymer matrix. The TCE embedded polymers have shown promising results in early damage detection through mechanically induced fluorescence. A spring-bead based network model, which bridges nanoscale information to higher length scales, has been developed to model this material system. The material is partitioned into discrete mass beads which are linked using linear springs at the microscale. A series of MD simulations were performed to define the spring stiffness in the statistical network model. By integrating multiple spring-bead models a network model has been developed to represent the material properties at the mesoscale. The model captures the statistical distribution of crosslinking degree of the polymer to represent the heterogeneous material properties at the microscale. The developed multiscale methodology is computationally efficient and provides a possible means to bridge multiple length scales (from 10 nm in MD simulation to 10 mm in FE model) without significant loss of accuracy. Parametric studies have been conducted to investigate the influence of the crosslinking degree on the material behavior. The developed methodology has been used to evaluate damage evolution in the self-sensing polymer.

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2014

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Multiscale modeling of advanced materials for damage prediction and structural health monitoring

Description

Advanced aerospace materials, including fiber reinforced polymer and ceramic matrix composites, are increasingly being used in critical and demanding applications, challenging the current damage prediction, detection, and quantification methodologies. Multiscale computational models offer key advantages over traditional analysis techniques and

Advanced aerospace materials, including fiber reinforced polymer and ceramic matrix composites, are increasingly being used in critical and demanding applications, challenging the current damage prediction, detection, and quantification methodologies. Multiscale computational models offer key advantages over traditional analysis techniques and can provide the necessary capabilities for the development of a comprehensive virtual structural health monitoring (SHM) framework. Virtual SHM has the potential to drastically improve the design and analysis of aerospace components through coupling the complementary capabilities of models able to predict the initiation and propagation of damage under a wide range of loading and environmental scenarios, simulate interrogation methods for damage detection and quantification, and assess the health of a structure. A major component of the virtual SHM framework involves having micromechanics-based multiscale composite models that can provide the elastic, inelastic, and damage behavior of composite material systems under mechanical and thermal loading conditions and in the presence of microstructural complexity and variability. Quantification of the role geometric and architectural variability in the composite microstructure plays in the local and global composite behavior is essential to the development of appropriate scale-dependent unit cells and boundary conditions for the multiscale model. Once the composite behavior is predicted and variability effects assessed, wave-based SHM simulation models serve to provide knowledge on the probability of detection and characterization accuracy of damage present in the composite. The research presented in this dissertation provides the foundation for a comprehensive SHM framework for advanced aerospace materials. The developed models enhance the prediction of damage formation as a result of ceramic matrix composite processing, improve the understanding of the effects of architectural and geometric variability in polymer matrix composites, and provide an accurate and computational efficient modeling scheme for simulating guided wave excitation, propagation, interaction with damage, and sensing in a range of materials. The methodologies presented in this research represent substantial progress toward the development of an accurate and generalized virtual SHM framework.

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2015

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Advances in micromechanics modeling of composites structures for structural health monitoring

Description

Although high performance, light-weight composites are increasingly being used in applications ranging from aircraft, rotorcraft, weapon systems and ground vehicles, the assurance of structural reliability remains a critical issue. In composites, damage is absorbed through various fracture processes, including fiber

Although high performance, light-weight composites are increasingly being used in applications ranging from aircraft, rotorcraft, weapon systems and ground vehicles, the assurance of structural reliability remains a critical issue. In composites, damage is absorbed through various fracture processes, including fiber failure, matrix cracking and delamination. An important element in achieving reliable composite systems is a strong capability of assessing and inspecting physical damage of critical structural components. Installation of a robust Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) system would be very valuable in detecting the onset of composite failure. A number of major issues still require serious attention in connection with the research and development aspects of sensor-integrated reliable SHM systems for composite structures. In particular, the sensitivity of currently available sensor systems does not allow detection of micro level damage; this limits the capability of data driven SHM systems. As a fundamental layer in SHM, modeling can provide in-depth information on material and structural behavior for sensing and detection, as well as data for learning algorithms. This dissertation focusses on the development of a multiscale analysis framework, which is used to detect various forms of damage in complex composite structures. A generalized method of cells based micromechanics analysis, as implemented in NASA's MAC/GMC code, is used for the micro-level analysis. First, a baseline study of MAC/GMC is performed to determine the governing failure theories that best capture the damage progression. The deficiencies associated with various layups and loading conditions are addressed. In most micromechanics analysis, a representative unit cell (RUC) with a common fiber packing arrangement is used. The effect of variation in this arrangement within the RUC has been studied and results indicate this variation influences the macro-scale effective material properties and failure stresses. The developed model has been used to simulate impact damage in a composite beam and an airfoil structure. The model data was verified through active interrogation using piezoelectric sensors. The multiscale model was further extended to develop a coupled damage and wave attenuation model, which was used to study different damage states such as fiber-matrix debonding in composite structures with surface bonded piezoelectric sensors.

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2012

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Probabilistic fatigue damage diagnostics and prognostics for metallic and composite materials

Description

In-situ fatigue damage diagnosis and prognosis is a challenging problem for both metallic and composite materials and structures. There are various uncertainties arising from material properties, component geometries, measurement noise, feature extraction techniques, and modeling errors. It is essential to

In-situ fatigue damage diagnosis and prognosis is a challenging problem for both metallic and composite materials and structures. There are various uncertainties arising from material properties, component geometries, measurement noise, feature extraction techniques, and modeling errors. It is essential to manage and incorporate these uncertainties in order to achieve accurate damage detection and remaining useful life (RUL) prediction.

The aim of this study is to develop an integrated fatigue damage diagnosis and prognosis framework for both metallic and composite materials. First, Lamb waves are used as the in-situ damage detection technique to interrogate the damaged structures. Both experimental and numerical analysis for the Lamb wave propagation within aluminum are conducted. The RUL of lap joints under variable and constant fatigue loading is predicted using the Bayesian updating by incorporating damage detection information and various sources of uncertainties. Following this, the effect of matrix cracking and delamination in composite laminates on the Lamb wave propagation is investigated and a generalized probabilistic delamination size and location detection framework using Bayesian imaging method (BIM) is proposed and validated using the composite fatigue testing data. The RUL of the open-hole specimen is predicted using the overall stiffness degradation under fatigue loading. Next, the adjoint method-based damage detection framework is proposed considering the physics of heat conduction or elastic wave propagation. Different from the classical wave propagation-based method, the received signal under pristine condition is not necessary for estimating the damage information. This method can be successfully used for arbitrary damage location and shape profiling for any materials with higher accuracy and resolution. Finally, some conclusions and future work are generated based on the current investigation.

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2016