The electrical properties of composite materials have been thoroughly investigated recently for the detection and monitoring of damage in carbon fiber-reinforced polymers (CFRPs) under mechanical loading. Carbon nanotubes are incorporated in the polymer matrix of CFRPs for the enhancement of their electrical properties. The electrical properties have shown to be sensitive to the damage state of the material and hence their monitoring provides the profile of their structural deterioration. The aim of the paper is the cross-validation and benchmarking of an electrical potential change monitoring (EPCM) technique against acoustic emission (AE) and lock-in thermography (LT). All techniques successfully identified damage and its propagation. Thermography was more efficient in quantifying damage and describing dynamically the debond topology, as it provided full 2D imaging of the debond in real time. EPCM was successful in providing quantitative information on debond propagation and its directionality. AE provided consistent information on damage propagation. All techniques identified three stages in the fatigue life of the interrogated coupons. The representation of the fatigue behavior as a function of life fraction, the correlation of AE data with EPCM and LT data, and most importantly the consistent behavior of all tested coupons allowed for both the direct and indirect cross-correlation of all employed methodologies, which consistently identified all aforementioned fatigue life stages.
- aerospace composites
- non-destructive evaluation