This paper presents a part of the study conducted for developing a damage diagnostic system for an advanced composite material that can be utilized in next-generation aircraft structure. The authors have been working on a detection of elastic wave which can be launched from the PZT actuators, using small- and normal-diameter FBG optical fiber sensors that are bonded to the surface of the CFRP laminate under different conditions. Based on the results, it was verified that it is possible to achieve a high-accuracy detection of elastic wave by using FBG sensors bonded to the surface of the CFRP laminate. It was also verified that the damages generated on the inside of the composite material may be detected by the waveform analysis of the received elastic wave.
In this study, the authors succeeded in the embedment of small-diameter FBG optical fiber sensors into the bonding surface of the double-lap type coupon specimen, which simulates the bonding structure of the CFRP composite structure. In this study, we also clarified several issues pertaining to the conditions, methods, and techniques involved in fiber embedding. An optical loss was observed during the embedment process, which may result in the loss of both accuracy and reliability. Based on these observations, the authors developed embedding techniques for optical fiber sensors that can reduce this optical loss. Additionally, the possibility of detecting an elastic wave, which was launched from the PZT actuators bonded to the surface of the coupon and directed to the host material, was verified using double-lap type coupon specimen having embedded small-diameter FBG optical fiber sensors at the bonding surface. Therefore, this specimen has provided an artificial defect that simulates the delamination generated at the bonding interface. Based on the measurements of the elastic wave, it was verified that the change in the elastic wave depends on the damage length, which is caused by the artificial defect. Moreover, based on the analysis of the received elastic wave, the possibility of damage detection was confirmed. The successful development of this damage monitoring system would ease the implementation of structural health monitoring system in aircraft structures in the near future.