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Development of a low-cost in-situ material characterization method and experimental studies of smart composite structures

Abstract : The composite structures embedding piezoelectric implants are developed due to their abilities of modifying mechanical properties according to the environment, of keeping their integrity, of interacting with human beings or with other structures.This study is focused on the preliminary design stages of smart composite structures, which represent only 5% of the total costs of a project, whereas 80% of the life cycle cost are set during the preliminary study phases. The top few problems during the preliminary design of smart composite structures are addressed in this work such as the determination of the material properties of the piezoelectric transducers and composite material used, the influence of transducers location, manufacturing process, temperature and damage on the behavior of the smart composite structures.Due to the manufacturing process developed at the Université de Technologie de Belfort-Montbéliard (UTBM), the most important element is a semi-finished product called “soft layer”. This special layer is used to embed the transducers system into the composite structures. The manufacturing process of “soft layer” as well as the smart composite structures are compiled in this report.In order to solve the problems described above, two characterization methods of composite material (Resonalyser method and Time-of-Flight method (T-o-F method)), are introduced and discussed. After experimental studies and comparing the results of these two methods, the T-o-F method is chosen as the main method for the following studies due to the fact that it is a low-cost and in-situ characterization method. Furthermore, a new method based on the T-o-F method is developed to easily and quickly extract the elastic constants, in particular the Poisson’s ratio.Experimental sensitivity analyses applied to the smart composite structures are performed with respect to the problems describes above. First of all, the study of the influence of transducers location demonstrates that the "soft layer” cannot be neglected to model the behavior of the final product. In particular, the through-the-thickness position has an influence on the eigenfrequencies and the modal amplitudes. However, the "soft layer” does not increase the overall damping ratio of the final structures and the through-the-thickness position of the "soft layer” has no influence on the damping ratios. The Lamb wave propagation inside the composite material is not impacted by the "soft layer”. Secondly, the study of the impact of manufacturing process demonstrates that the impact of variability of parameters due to the manufacturing process is very important on the final response of the structure. Thirdly, the study of the influence of temperature on different kinds of smart composite structures proves that when temperature increases, the Young’s modulus of the smart composites decreases. But the attenuation of Young’s modulus according to temperature is different along different fiber directions, especially for the unidirectional composite structures. Furthermore, in this study, the sensitivity of Time-of-Flight method with respect to temperature is well proved by comparing the results with a traditional method like Dynamic-Mechanical Analysis (DMA). Last but not least, the study of the impact of the mechanical damage gives a quite good reference for the future investigations. Along this way, it is possible to use a Time-of-Flight method in Structural Health Monitoring. In addition, some smart composite structures manufactured by the research team are given and their potential applications are discussed.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 9:48:12 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 4:07:25 AM


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  • HAL Id : tel-02136213, version 1


Xianlong Chen. Development of a low-cost in-situ material characterization method and experimental studies of smart composite structures. Other. Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019UBFCA002⟩. ⟨tel-02136213⟩



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