Composite Damage Detection

The behavior and performance of composite structures can be significantly affected by degradation induced by exposure to environmental conditions or damage caused by handling conditions, such as impact, loading, abuse, or neglect. Such damages are not always visible on the surface of the structure and could potentially lead to catastrophic structural failures.

To ensure a structure's integrity and performance, damages must be detected early and accurately. Therefore, damage detection in composite structures is an important application for Structural Health Monitoring (SHM).

A composite damage detection system, powered by Acellent's SHM-Composite software, is ideal for monitoring large composite structures, such as aircraft wings, fuselage, wind blades, and pressure vessels. An SHM system identifies and quantifies damages, such as delaminations and disbonds, that may arise due to impacts or other sources, thus reducing maintenance costs over the lifecycle of the monitored asset.

Selected Examples

Large-Scale Composite Damage Detection

Structures made of composite materials are strong and lightweight, but are vulnerable to disbonds. Acellent’s SHM-Composite software provides monitoring for large composite structures, enabling early notification of performance degradation, potential problems, or failures. This allows operators to schedule maintenance based on the condition of the structure, avoiding unanticipated downtime, ensuring maximum uptime, and reducing operational costs.

Composite Pressure Vessel/Rocket Motor Case

Acellent's SMART Layers® have been embedded inside the filament-wound composite casing of sub-scale rocket motors and pressure-holding vessels during the manufacturing process. When damage occurs during operation, whether visible or hidden, the SHM system can detect it, display a map of the damage on the structure, and assess its severity.