Multifunctional, Smart, Non-Newtonian Polymer Matrix with Improved Anti-impact Properties Enabling Structural Health Monitoring in Composite Laminates

Konstantinos Myronidis, Marco Boccaccio, Michele Meo, Fulvio Pinto

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding

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Autonomous Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) has been introduced in composite structures extensively over the last decade in an attempt to proactively monitor potential internal defects, however active/passive control of their integrity status still remains a challenge. In this work, a novel, non-Newtonian multifunctional polymer with unique active/passive capabilities is proposed for impact protection and SHM of composite laminate structures. This Polyboro siloxane(PBS)-based polymer with unique shear-dependant energy absorption characteristics, owed to a phase transition occurrence within its polymeric network, was utilised as scaffold for ferromagnetic iron particles which enabled the manufacturing of the multifunctional matrix for Glass Fibres Reinforced Polymer (GFRP). The iron particles were positioned in the polymer matrix, which was reinforced with glass fibres and employed as outer ply of a laminate structure. Their presence enables a dual functionality of the multifunctional layer: firstly, in the presence of a magnetic field, triggers the phase transition of the polymeric network offering protection to the laminate in case of impacts, and secondly, postimpact allows for the assessment of the internal integrity of the component, acting as an embedded heat source for active Infrared (IR) Thermography. The ability of the iron particles to initiate the phase transition was investigated by means of Low Velocity Impact in the presence/absence of a magnetic field and the laminates were then examined by means of induction thermography, for the evaluation of the internal damage. Results revealed that iron particles in the presence of a magnetic field led to an enhanced protection of the composite laminates, significantly reducing the extent of the internal damage. This novel, low-cost multifunctional layer provides a unique solution for the protection of composite materials, addressing their inherent weak resistance in out-of-plane direction and providing affordable SHM, thus opening new perspectives for smart structural materials which are in great demand in engineering sectors.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEuropean Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring, EWSHM 2022, Volume 1
EditorsPiervincenzo Rizzo, Alberto Milazzo
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9783031072536
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Jun 2022
Event10th European Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring, EWSHM 2022 - Palermo, Italy
Duration: 4 Jul 20227 Jul 2022

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Civil Engineering
Volume253 LNCE
ISSN (Print)2366-2557
ISSN (Electronic)2366-2565


Conference10th European Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring, EWSHM 2022


  • GFRP
  • Induction thermography
  • LVI
  • SHM
  • SSG

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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