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Improving damage detection and localization in complex composites

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The goal of this research is to couple a physics-based model with adaptive algorithms to develop a more accurate and robust technique for structural health monitoring (SHM) in composite structures. The purpose of SHM is to localize and detect damage

The goal of this research is to couple a physics-based model with adaptive algorithms to develop a more accurate and robust technique for structural health monitoring (SHM) in composite structures. The purpose of SHM is to localize and detect damage in structures, which has broad applications to improvements in aerospace technology. This technique employs PZT transducers to actuate and collect guided Lamb wave signals. Matching pursuit decomposition (MPD) is used to decompose the signal into a cross-term free time-frequency relation. This decoupling of time and frequency facilitates the calculation of a signal's time-of-flight along a path between an actuator and sensor. Using the time-of-flights, comparisons can be made between similar composite structures to find damaged regions by examining differences in the time of flight for each path between PZTs, with respect to direction. Relatively large differences in time-of-flight indicate the presence of new or more significant damage, which can be verified using a physics-based approach. Wave propagation modeling is used to implement a physics based approach to this method, which is coupled with adaptive algorithms that take into account currently existing damage to a composite structure. Previous SHM techniques for composite structures rely on the assumption that the composite is initially free of all damage on both a macro and micro-scale, which is never the case due to the inherent introduction of material defects in its fabrication. This method provides a novel technique for investigating the presence and nature of damage in composite structures. Further investigation into the technique can be done by testing structures with different sizes of damage and investigating the effects of different operating temperatures on this SHM system.

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2015-05

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STRUCTURAL HEALTH MONITORING OF FIBER REINFORCED COMPOSITE STRUCTURES UNDER HIGH VELOCITY IMPACT LOADS

Description

This thesis encompasses research performed in the focus area of structural health monitoring. More specifically, this research focuses on high velocity impact testing of carbon fiber reinforced structures, especially plates, and evaluating the damage post-impact. To this end, various non-destructive

This thesis encompasses research performed in the focus area of structural health monitoring. More specifically, this research focuses on high velocity impact testing of carbon fiber reinforced structures, especially plates, and evaluating the damage post-impact. To this end, various non-destructive evaluation techniques such as ultrasonic C-scan testing and flash thermography were utilized for post-impact analysis. MATLAB algorithms were written and refined for the localization and quantification of damage in plates using data from sensors such as piezoelectric and fiber Bragg gratings sensors. Throughout the thesis, the general plate theory and laminate plate theory, the operations and optimization of the gas gun, and the theory used for the damage localization algorithms will be discussed. Additional quantifiable results are to come in future semesters of experimentation, but this thesis outlines the framework upon which all the research will continue to advance.

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2015-05

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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

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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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Sensing and knowledge mining for structural health management

Description

Current economic conditions necessitate the extension of service lives for a variety of aerospace systems. As a result, there is an increased need for structural health management (SHM) systems to increase safety, extend life, reduce maintenance costs, and minimize downtime,

Current economic conditions necessitate the extension of service lives for a variety of aerospace systems. As a result, there is an increased need for structural health management (SHM) systems to increase safety, extend life, reduce maintenance costs, and minimize downtime, lowering life cycle costs for these aging systems. The implementation of such a system requires a collaborative research effort in a variety of areas such as novel sensing techniques, robust algorithms for damage interrogation, high fidelity probabilistic progressive damage models, and hybrid residual life estimation models. This dissertation focuses on the sensing and damage estimation aspects of this multidisciplinary topic for application in metallic and composite material systems. The primary means of interrogating a structure in this work is through the use of Lamb wave propagation which works well for the thin structures used in aerospace applications. Piezoelectric transducers (PZTs) were selected for this application since they can be used as both sensors and actuators of guided waves. Placement of these transducers is an important issue in wave based approaches as Lamb waves are sensitive to changes in material properties, geometry, and boundary conditions which may obscure the presence of damage if they are not taken into account during sensor placement. The placement scheme proposed in this dissertation arranges piezoelectric transducers in a pitch-catch mode so the entire structure can be covered using a minimum number of sensors. The stress distribution of the structure is also considered so PZTs are placed in regions where they do not fail before the host structure. In order to process the data from these transducers, advanced signal processing techniques are employed to detect the presence of damage in complex structures. To provide a better estimate of the damage for accurate life estimation, machine learning techniques are used to classify the type of damage in the structure. A data structure analysis approach is used to reduce the amount of data collected and increase computational efficiency. In the case of low velocity impact damage, fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors were used with a nonlinear regression tool to reconstruct the loading at the impact site.

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2011

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

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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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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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2012

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The effects of nonlinear damping on post-flutter behavior using geometrically nonlinear reduced order modeling

Description

Recent studies of the occurrence of post-flutter limit cycle oscillations (LCO) of the F-16 have provided good support to the long-standing hypothesis that this phenomenon involves a nonlinear structural damping. A potential mechanism for the appearance of nonlinearity in the

Recent studies of the occurrence of post-flutter limit cycle oscillations (LCO) of the F-16 have provided good support to the long-standing hypothesis that this phenomenon involves a nonlinear structural damping. A potential mechanism for the appearance of nonlinearity in the damping are the nonlinear geometric effects that arise when the deformations become large enough to exceed the linear regime. In this light, the focus of this investigation is first on extending nonlinear reduced order modeling (ROM) methods to include viscoelasticity which is introduced here through a linear Kelvin-Voigt model in the undeformed configuration. Proceeding with a Galerkin approach, the ROM governing equations of motion are obtained and are found to be of a generalized van der Pol-Duffing form with parameters depending on the structure and the chosen basis functions. An identification approach of the nonlinear damping parameters is next proposed which is applicable to structures modeled within commercial finite element software.

The effects of this nonlinear damping mechanism on the post-flutter response is next analyzed on the Goland wing through time-marching of the aeroelastic equations comprising a rational fraction approximation of the linear aerodynamic forces. It is indeed found that the nonlinearity in the damping can stabilize the unstable aerodynamics and lead to finite amplitude limit cycle oscillations even when the stiffness related nonlinear geometric effects are neglected. The incorporation of these latter effects in the model is found to further decrease the amplitude of LCO even though the dominant bending motions do not seem to stiffen as the level of displacements is increased in static analyses.

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2015

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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