Title page for ETD etd-05062010-124039

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Butrym, Brad A.
Author's Email Address Butrym@vt.edu
URN etd-05062010-124039
Title Crack Detection in Aluminum Structures
Degree Master of Science
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Inman, Daniel J. Committee Chair
Kasarda, Mary E. F. Committee Member
Kim, Myung Hyun Committee Member
  • Structural Health Monitoring
  • Stress Intensity Factors
  • Macro Fiber Composite
  • Piezoelectric
  • NDE
Date of Defense 2010-04-26
Availability unrestricted
Structural health monitoring (SHM) is the process of using measurements of a structure’s response to known excitations and trying to determine if damage has occurred to the structure. This also fits the description of non-destructive evaluation (NDE). The main difference is that NDE takes place while the structure is out of service and SHM is intended to take place while the structure is in service. As such, SHM provides the opportunity to provide early warning against structural failure. This thesis intends to advance the state of the art in SHM by examining two approaches to SHM: vibration based and impedance based, and to associate these with the NDE method of stress intensity factors. By examining these methods the goal is to try and answer some of the important questions in SHM process. The first is to experimentally validate a crack model and to see how small of a crack can be detected by vibration methods. The second is to use the concept of stress intensity factor to perform an SHM type of measurement to determine the remaining life of a structure once the impedance method has determined that damage has occurred.

The measurement system considered consists of using several different piezoceramic materials as self-sensing actuators and sensors. The structures are a simple beam and a more complex lug element used in aircraft applications. The approach suggested here is to use the impedance and vibration methods to detect crack initiation and then to use the proposed stress intensity method to measure the stress intensity factor of the structure under consideration.

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