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19 April 2013 An analysis of fabrication methods for embedding particles sensors into a composite structure
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The properties of highly magnetostictive materials, such as Terfenol-D, have opened the door to a wide variety of application possibilities. One such developing application is embedding magnetostictive particles (MSP) as sensors for determining the structural integrity of composite materials over the course of the operating life. The process of embedding these particles during the fabrication of the composite structure presents many challenges. This paper will briefly discuss and show the relationship between particle density and the output of a uni-axial induction based sensor. This relationship is critical for defining the goal of embedding process in this paper, to create a uniform uni-axial distribution of particles within the composite structure. Multiple methods of embedding magnetostrictive particles into a composite structure are detailed and then compared to determine their relative effectiveness. Methods included are: a simple by-hand spread of particles onto uncured prepreg composite, using the controlled adhesiveness of the prepreg to separate particles, applying the particles using a unidirectional application tool, introducing the particles into the epoxy mix to create a slurry during a VARTM layup, and spraying the particles onto a tacky composite surface during layup. Each method is used to embed particles into a composite beam or analog beam. That beam is then scanned with the uniaxial induction sensor to determine the effectiveness of the method. Results show promise for the adhesive method while the remaining processes show critical flaws.
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Dustin L. Spayde and Oliver J. Myers "An analysis of fabrication methods for embedding particles sensors into a composite structure", Proc. SPIE 8692, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2013, 869204 (19 April 2013);

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