Carbon nanotube (CNT) enhanced composite materials have attracted the interest of many scientists worldwide, especially in the aerospace industry. Fundamental to their qualification as materials in primary aircraft structures is the investigation of the relationship between their functional characteristics and their long-term behaviour under external combined loads. Conductive reinforcement at the nanoscale is by definition multifunctional as it may (i) enhance structural performance and (ii) provide structural health monitoring functionalities. It is now well established that reversible changes in the electrical resistance in nano composites are related to strain and irreversible monotonic changes are related to cumulative damage in the nano composite. In this study, the effect of damage in the hysteretic electrical behaviour of nano-enhanced reinforced composites was investigated. The nanocomposites were subjected to different levels of damage and their response to a cyclic electrical potential excitation was monitored as a function of frequency. Along with the dynamic electrical investigation, an Electrical Potential Mapping (EPM) technique was developed to pin-point artificial damage in CNT-enhanced matrix composite materials. The electrical potential field of the bulk material has shown to be characteristic of its internal structural state. The results of EPM technique were contradicted and validated with conventional C-scans.
Bekas, D., Grammatikos, S. A., Kouimtzi, C., & Paipetis, A. S. (2015). Linear and non-linear electrical dependency of carbon nanotube reinforced composites to internal damage. In Advanced Materials for Demanding Applications  (IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering; Vol. 74). IOP Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1088/1757-899X/74/1/012002