Multitechnique monitoring of fatigue damage in adhesively bonded composite lap-joints


The requirement for reduced structural weight has driven the development of adhesively bonded joints. However, a major issue preventing their full acceptance is the initiation of premature failure in the form of a disbond between adherends, mainly due to fatigue, manufacturing flaws or impact damage. This work presents the integrated approach for in-situ monitoring of degradation of the adhesive bond in the GFRP composite lap-joint using ultrasonic guided waves and dynamic measurements from strategically embedded FBG sensors. Guided waves are actuated with surface mounted piezoelectric elements and mode tuning is used to provide high sensitivity to the degradation of the adhesive layer parameters. Composite lap-joints are subjected to fatigue loading, and data from piezoceramic transducers are collected at regular intervals to evaluate the progression of damage. Results demonstrate that quasi-static loading affects guided wave measurements considerably, but FBG sensors can be used to monitor the applied load levels and residual strains in the adhesive bond. The proposed technique shows promise for determining the post-damage stiffness of adhesively bonded joints.

2014 Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation