Piezo-fiber-optic technologies of structural health monitoring for the control of material property degradation, flaw detection and catastrophic failure prevention of aerospace and other safety critical facilities
The project aims to create a multidisciplinary laboratory "Piezo-fiber-optic technologies of Structural Health Monitoring " on the basis of the Institute of Mathematics, Mechanics and Informatics (IMMI) and the Laboratory of Robotics and Mechatronics (LRM), KubSU, and to develop Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) methods and technologies for early detection of damages, hidden flaws and material degradation in thin-walled structures using ultrasonic guided waves (Lamb waves) excited and registered by an embedded network of piezoelectric active wafer sensors (PWAS) and fiber optic sensors (fiber Bragg gratings – FBG) or automated (robotic) systems of contactless highly sensitive piezoelectric transducers. Locating, identification and assessment of potential danger of the detected defects are based on a fast mathematical processing of the recorded signals. For its carrying out, it is planned to develop effective computer models that implement semi-analytical and numerical solutions of the corresponding boundary value problems adequately describing wave processes, including in advanced composite materials of complex structure.
The overall objective of SHM technologies is to ensure structural safety of safety-critical engineering constructions, which failure or sudden destruction could lead to serious economic losses or even disastrous consequences. Examples of such objects are aircrafts and space units, chemical and nuclear storages, pipelines, industrial installation, bridges, etc.
The general task of the project is the development of theoretical and technological basics for nondestructive SHM techniques relying on elastic guided waves. Among such expected outcomes as publications in recognized peer-reviewed journals, patents and certificates for computer codes developed, experimental demonstrators and SHM-system prototypes are to be created to illustrate the achievement of the following goals:
1. The assessment of the structural material mechanical properties of modern laminate composites and continuous control of their possible degradation during the structure’s operation via the analysis of signals carried by guided waves.
2. Detection of various hidden flaws typical for plate-like engineering structures (fatigue cracks, delamination of composite interlayers, corrosion of metallic parts and localized material degradation of laminate composites unavailable for visual and classical NDT inspection, impact damages, etc.).
3. Quantification (sizing and estimation of severity) and classification of damages on the basis of wave field pattern acquired by the embedded sensor network and the pattern of scattering resonance frequencies extracted from the registered reflected signals.
4. Continuous structural health monitoring on the basis of built-in piezo/fiber optic sensor networks; self-diagnosis of such built-in systems; assessment of possible further trouble-free operation periods.
As a result of the project, it is planned
- to create the laboratory "Piezo-fiber-optic technologies of Structural Health Monitoring" equipped with modern equipment necessary for carrying out R & D at a world level;
- to prepare from the young project participants (graduate and post-graduate students, postdocs), the backbone of the laboratory, which own the mathematical, computer and experimental methods needed to develop new and improve existing SHM technologies;
- to develop methods and algorithms for the obtaining semi-analytic and numerical solutions of various wave dynamic problems, which effective solving will accelerate the further development of SHM technologies, especially for the structures made of composite materials;
- to implement the developed methods in the form of computer models and conduct their experimental verification;
- to create, on this basis, demonstrators, layouts and prototypes of actual SHM systems;
- to apply for patents and certificates for the created objects of intellectual property: computer programs implementing the developed mathematical models and useful models of software and hardware methods.
It is expected that the new scientific and technological products developed during the project will allow early detecting defects, damages and signs of structural aging, thus preventing economic losses and possible catastrophic consequences of their sudden failure or destruction.