Enhanced impact resistance and pseudo plastic behaviour in composite structures through 3D twisted helical arrangement of fibres and design of a novel chipless sensor for damage detection

  • Onorio Iervolino

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


The future of the aerospace industry in large part relies on two factors: (i) development of advanced damage tolerant materials and (ii) development of advanced smart sensors with the ability to detect and evaluate defects at very early stages of component service life. Laminated composite materials, such as carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP), have emerged as the materials of choice for increasing the performance and reducing the cost and weight of aircrafts, which leads to less fuel consumption and therefore lower CO2 emissions. However, it is well known that these materials exhibit fragile behaviour, poor resistance to impact damage caused by foreign objects and require a relatively slow and labour intensive manufacturing process. These factors prevent the rapid expansion of composite materials in several industrial sectors at the current time.Inspired by the use of rope throughout history and driven by the necessity of creating a lean manufacturing process for composites and enhancing their impact properties, the first part of this work has shown that enhanced damage tolerance and pseudo-ductile behaviour can be achieved with standard CFRP by creatively arranging the fibres into a 3D twisted helical configuration. Through an extensive experimental campaign a new method to arrange fibre reinforcement was presented and its effect investigated.The second part of this PhD work focused on developing a new smart sensor. A spiral passive electromagnetic sensor (SPES) for damage detection on CFRP and glass fibre reinforced plastics (GFRP) is presented in this work. A range of defect types in glass and carbon composite has been considered, such as delamination, perforated holes and cracks. Furthermore, throughout this work, the SPES has been exploited as a multi-sensing device allowing the ability to detect temperature and humidity variation, presence of ice and act as an anti/de-icing device.
Date of Award27 Jun 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorMichele Meo (Supervisor)


  • damage tolerance
  • Composite damage
  • 3D preform
  • 3D woven composite
  • Interlaminar reinforcement
  • lean manufacturing
  • pseudo-ductility
  • damage detection
  • chip-less sensor
  • structural health monitoring
  • passive sensor

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