Modelling of Thermal Wave Propagation in Damaged Composites with Internal Source

Francesco Ciampa, Stefano Angioni, Fulvio Pinto, Gennaro Scarselli, Darryl Almond, Michele Meo

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SMArt Thermography exploits the electrothermal properties of multifunctional smart structures, which are created by embedding shape memory alloy (SMA) wires in traditional carbon fibre reinforced composite laminates (known as SMArt composites), in order to detect the structural flaws using an embedded source. Such a system enables a built-in, fast, cost-effective and in-depth assessment of the structural damage as it overcomes the limitations of standard thermography techniques. However, a theoretical background of the thermal wave propagation behaviour, especially in the presence of internal structural defects, is needed to better interpret the observations/data acquired during the experiments and to optimise those critical parameters such as the mechanical and thermal properties of the composite laminate, the depth of the SMA wires and the intensity of the excitation energy. This information is essential to enhance the sensitivity of the system, thus to evaluate the integrity of the medium with different types of damage. For this purpose, this paper aims at developing an analytical model for SMArt composites, which is able to predict the temperature contrast on the surface of the laminate in the presence of in-plane internal damage (delamination-like) using pulsed thermography. Such a model, based on the Green’s function formalism for one-dimensional heat equation, takes into account the thermal lateral diffusion around the defect and it can be used to compute the defect depth within the laminate. The results showed good agreement between the analytical model and the measured thermal waves using an infrared (IR) camera. Particularly, the contrast temperature curves were found to change significantly depending on the defect opening. © (2015) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2015


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