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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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Development of mehanochemically active polymers for early damage detection

Description

Identification of early damage in polymer composite materials is of significant importance so that preventative measures can be taken before the materials reach catastrophic failure. Scientists have been developing damage detection technologies over many years and recently, mechanophore-based polymers, in

Identification of early damage in polymer composite materials is of significant importance so that preventative measures can be taken before the materials reach catastrophic failure. Scientists have been developing damage detection technologies over many years and recently, mechanophore-based polymers, in which mechanical energy is translated to activate a chemical transformation, have received increasing attention. More specifically, the damage can be made detectable by mechanochromic polymers, which provide a visible color change upon the scission of covalent bonds under stress. This dissertation focuses on the study of a novel self-sensing framework for identifying early and in-situ damage by employing unique stress-sensing mechanophores. Two types of mechanophores, cyclobutane and cyclooctane, were utilized, and the former formed from cinnamoyl moeities and the latter formed from anthracene upon photodimerization. The effects on the thermal and mechanical properties with the addition of the cyclobutane-based polymers into epoxy matrices were investigated. The emergence of cracks was detected by fluorescent signals at a strain level right after the yield point of the polymer blends, and the fluorescence intensified with the accumulation of strain. Similar to the mechanism of fluorescence emission from the cleavage of cyclobutane, the cyclooctane moiety generated fluorescent emission with a higher quantum yield upon cleavage. The experimental results also demonstrated the success of employing the cyclooctane type mechanophore as a potential force sensor, as the fluorescence intensification was correlated with the strain increase.

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2014

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Micromechanics based multiscale modeling of the inelastic response and failure of complex architecture composites

Description

Advanced composites are being widely used in aerospace applications due to their high stiffness, strength and energy absorption capabilities. However, the assurance of structural reliability is a critical issue because a damage event will compromise the integrity of composite structures

Advanced composites are being widely used in aerospace applications due to their high stiffness, strength and energy absorption capabilities. However, the assurance of structural reliability is a critical issue because a damage event will compromise the integrity of composite structures and lead to ultimate failure. In this dissertation a novel homogenization based multiscale modeling framework using semi-analytical micromechanics is presented to simulate the response of textile composites. The novelty of this approach lies in the three scale homogenization/localization framework bridging between the constituent (micro), the fiber tow scale (meso), weave scale (macro), and the global response. The multiscale framework, named Multiscale Generalized Method of Cells (MSGMC), continuously bridges between the micro to the global scale as opposed to approaches that are top-down and bottom-up. This framework is fully generalized and capable of modeling several different weave and braids without reformulation. Particular emphasis in this dissertation is placed on modeling the nonlinearity and failure of both polymer matrix and ceramic matrix composites.

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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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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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Date Created
2014

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Self-Sensing Polymer Composites for Precursor Damage Detection via Mechanochemistry

Description

While understanding of failure mechanisms for polymeric composites have improved vastly over recent decades, the ability to successfully monitor early failure and subsequent prevention has come of much interest in recent years. One such method to detect these failures involves

While understanding of failure mechanisms for polymeric composites have improved vastly over recent decades, the ability to successfully monitor early failure and subsequent prevention has come of much interest in recent years. One such method to detect these failures involves the use of mechanochemistry, a field of chemistry in which chemical reactions are initiated by deforming highly-strained bonds present in certain moieties. Mechanochemistry is utilized in polymeric composites as a means of stress-sensing, utilizing weak and force-responsive chemical bonds to activate signals when embedded in a composite material. These signals can then be detected to determine the amount of stress applied to a composite and subsequent potential damage that has occurred due to the stress. Among mechanophores, the cinnamoyl moiety is capable of stress response through fluorescent signal under mechanical load. The cinnamoyl group is fluorescent in its initial state and capable of undergoing photocycloaddition in the presence of ultraviolet (UV) light, followed by subsequent reversion when under mechanical load. Signal generation before the yield point of the material provides a form of damage precursor detection.This dissertation explores the implementation of mechanophores in novel approaches to overcome some of the many challenges within the mechanochemistry field. First, new methods of mechanophore detection were developed through utilization of Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy signals and in-situ stress sensing. Developing an in-situ testing method provided a two-fold advantage of higher resolution and more time efficiency over current methods involving image analysis with a fluorescent microscope. Second, bonding mechanophores covalently into the backbone of an epoxy matrix mitigated property loss due to mechanophore incorporation. This approach was accomplished through functionalizing either the resin or hardener component of the matrix. Finally, surface functionalization of fibers was performed and allowed for unaltered fabrication procedures of composite layups as well as provided increased adhesion at the fiber-matrix interphase. The developed materials could enable a simple, non-invasive, and non-detrimental structural health monitoring approach.

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Date Created
2021

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Stochastic multiscale modeling and statistical characterization of complex polymer matrix composites

Description

There are many applications for polymer matrix composite materials in a variety of different industries, but designing and modeling with these materials remains a challenge due to the intricate architecture and damage modes. Multiscale modeling techniques of composite structures

There are many applications for polymer matrix composite materials in a variety of different industries, but designing and modeling with these materials remains a challenge due to the intricate architecture and damage modes. Multiscale modeling techniques of composite structures subjected to complex loadings are needed in order to address the scale-dependent behavior and failure. The rate dependency and nonlinearity of polymer matrix composite materials further complicates the modeling. Additionally, variability in the material constituents plays an important role in the material behavior and damage. The systematic consideration of uncertainties is as important as having the appropriate structural model, especially during model validation where the total error between physical observation and model prediction must be characterized. It is necessary to quantify the effects of uncertainties at every length scale in order to fully understand their impact on the structural response. Material variability may include variations in fiber volume fraction, fiber dimensions, fiber waviness, pure resin pockets, and void distributions. Therefore, a stochastic modeling framework with scale dependent constitutive laws and an appropriate failure theory is required to simulate the behavior and failure of polymer matrix composite structures subjected to complex loadings. Additionally, the variations in environmental conditions for aerospace applications and the effect of these conditions on the polymer matrix composite material need to be considered. The research presented in this dissertation provides the framework for stochastic multiscale modeling of composites and the characterization data needed to determine the effect of different environmental conditions on the material properties. The developed models extend sectional micromechanics techniques by incorporating 3D progressive damage theories and multiscale failure criteria. The mechanical testing of composites under various environmental conditions demonstrates the degrading effect these conditions have on the elastic and failure properties of the material. The methodologies presented in this research represent substantial progress toward understanding the failure and effect of variability for complex polymer matrix composites.

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Date Created
2016

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Novel Methodology for Atomistically Informed Multiscale Modeling of Advanced Composites

Description

With the maturity of advanced composites as feasible structural materials for various applications there is a critical need to solve the challenge of designing these material systems for optimal performance. However, determining superior design methods requires a deep understanding of

With the maturity of advanced composites as feasible structural materials for various applications there is a critical need to solve the challenge of designing these material systems for optimal performance. However, determining superior design methods requires a deep understanding of the material-structure properties at various length scales. Due to the length-scale dependent behavior of advanced composites, multiscale modeling techniques may be used to describe the dominant mechanisms of damage and failure in these material systems. With polymer matrix fiber composites and nanocomposites it becomes essential to include even the atomic length scale, where the resin-hardener-nanofiller molecules interact, in the multiscale modeling framework. Additionally, sources of variability are also critical to be included in these models due to the important role of uncertainty in advance composite behavior. Such a methodology should be able to describe length scale dependent mechanisms in a computationally efficient manner for the analysis of practical composite structures.

In the research presented in this dissertation, a comprehensive nano to macro multiscale framework is developed for the mechanical and multifunctional analysis of advanced composite materials and structures. An atomistically informed statistical multiscale model is developed for linear problems, to estimate and scale elastic properties of carbon fiber reinforced polymer composites (CFRPs) and carbon nanotube (CNT) enhanced CFRPs using information from molecular dynamics simulation of the resin-hardener-nanofiller nanoscale system. For modeling inelastic processes, an atomistically informed coupled damage-plasticity model is developed using the framework of continuum damage mechanics, where fundamental nanoscale covalent bond disassociation information is scaled up as a continuum scale damage identifying parameter. This damage model is coupled with a nanocomposite microstructure generation algorithm to study the sub-microscale damage mechanisms in CNT/CFRP microstructures. It is further integrated in a generalized method of cells (GMC) micromechanics model to create a low-fidelity computationally efficient nonlinear multiscale method with imperfect interfaces between the fiber and matrix, where the interface behavior is adopted from nanoscale MD simulations. This algorithm is used to understand damage mechanisms in adhesively bonded composite joints as a case study for the comprehensive nano to macroscale structural analysis of practical composites structures. At each length scale sources of variability are identified, characterized, and included in the multiscale modeling framework.

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Date Created
2018

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Material Failure Simulation with Random Microstructure using Lattice Particle Method and Neural Network

Description

Extensive efforts have been devoted to understanding material failure in the last several decades. A suitable numerical method and specific failure criteria are required for failure simulation. The finite element method (FEM) is the most widely used approach for material

Extensive efforts have been devoted to understanding material failure in the last several decades. A suitable numerical method and specific failure criteria are required for failure simulation. The finite element method (FEM) is the most widely used approach for material mechanical modelling. Since FEM is based on partial differential equations, it is hard to solve problems involving spatial discontinuities, such as fracture and material interface. Due to their intrinsic characteristics of integro-differential governing equations, discontinuous approaches are more suitable for problems involving spatial discontinuities, such as lattice spring method, discrete element method, and peridynamics. A recently proposed lattice particle method is shown to have no restriction of Poisson’s ratio, which is very common in discontinuous methods. In this study, the lattice particle method is adopted to study failure problems. In addition of numerical method, failure criterion is essential for failure simulations. In this study, multiaxial fatigue failure is investigated and then applied to the adopted method. Another critical issue of failure simulation is that the simulation process is time-consuming. To reduce computational cost, the lattice particle method can be partly replaced by neural network model.First, the development of a nonlocal maximum distortion energy criterion in the framework of a Lattice Particle Model (LPM) is presented for modeling of elastoplastic materials. The basic idea is to decompose the energy of a discrete material point into dilatational and distortional components, and plastic yielding of bonds associated with this material point is assumed to occur only when the distortional component reaches a critical value. Then, two multiaxial fatigue models are proposed for random loading and biaxial tension-tension loading, respectively. Following this, fatigue cracking in homogeneous and composite materials is studied using the lattice particle method and the proposed multiaxial fatigue model. Bi-phase material fatigue crack simulation is performed. Next, an integration of an efficient deep learning model and the lattice particle method is presented to predict fracture pattern for arbitrary microstructure and loading conditions. With this integration, computational accuracy and efficiency are both considered. Finally, some conclusion and discussion based on this study are drawn.

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2021