Feasibility of PZT ceramics for impact damage detection in composite structures


Fiber reinforced plastic composites are becoming widely used in vehicles and airframe structures due to their high strength to weight ratio. However unlike metals, the multilayered composite structures are more susceptible to damage mechanisms such as disbonds and delaminations due to impacts. It is often difficult to visually detect the damage. Lead-Zirconate-Titanate (PZT) thin films are becoming popular for in-situ structural health monitoring due to their small size, high piezoelectric coupling coefficient, and ease of surface-mounting and/or embedding in composite structures. A network of such transducers could be utilized for damage detection using guided wave techniques, impedance techniques, or passive impact detection techniques. However, the PZT films are subject to the same impact probabilities that the structure encounters. If the transducers fail due to the subjected impacts, they can result in false readings and ultimately failing to correctly detect damage in the structure. This paper presents a feasibility study using the guided wave S0 mode for detecting impact damage. The health of the structure is quantified using guided wave measurements, and the PZT health is monitored using impedance methods.

2014 Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation