Portable Composite Structure / Missile Evaluation System

Period of Performance: 05/13/1999 - 11/12/1999

$65K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Dynamic Structures & Materials, LLC
205 Williamson Square
Franklin, TN 37064
Principal Investigator

Abstract

A method for sensing the quality and state of composite material structures will be developed. The technique can be used to determine the resin cure state, detect pre-damage bond quality and sense or quantify damage in the material during use. Because the sensors are very lightweight, robust, and inexpensive, they can be readily located at critical points over an entire structure. The sensors may be either integrated into the material or surface bonded. The technique will yield significant value to both military and commercial structures. The detection / inspection method utilizes small, robust piezoceramic impedance sensors in conjunction with a portable impedance analyzer. Material structural integrity, cure state of the resin system, and degradation in the material due to damage is sensed using very accurate measurement of the local dynamic response. The technique uses measurements of local dynamic response to sense changes in the mass, stiffness, or damping at the bond or joint around the bond. These measurements correlate with the structural state. With the sensors in place, the structure can be inspected quickly and easily. A single, untrained person can simply monitor a portable meter with an algorithm for determining cure, joint quality or material structural integrity changes.