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Monitoring of compressive behaviour of stiffened composite panels using embedded fibre optic and strain gauge sensors

Roman Ruzek (Strength of Structures, Aerospace Research and Test Establishment (VZLU), Prague, Czech Republic)
Martin Kadlec (Strength of Structures, Aerospace Research and Test Establishment (VZLU), Prague, Czech Republic)
Konstantinos Tserpes (Laboratory of Technology and Strength of Materials, University of Patras, Patras, Greece)
Evaggelos Karachalios (Department of Research and Development, Hellenic Aerospace Industry, Schimatari, Greece)

International Journal of Structural Integrity

ISSN: 1757-9864

Article publication date: 6 February 2017

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Abstract

Purpose

Compression is critical loading condition for composite airframes. Compression behaviour of structures with or without damages is a weak point for composite fuselage panels. This is one of the reasons for need of continuous in-service health monitoring of composite structures. The purpose of this paper is to characterize the compression panel behaviour on the base of a developed and implemented structural health monitoring (SHM) system.

Design/methodology/approach

The SHM system based on fibre optic Bragg grating (FOBG) sensors and standard resistance strain gauges (SGs) was placed onto/into (embedded or bonded) three stiffened carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) fuselage panels. The FOBG sensor system was used to monitor the structural integrity of the reference, impacted, and fatigued panels under compression loading. Both barely visible impact damage and visible impact damage were created to evaluate their influence on the panel behaviour. The functionality of the SHM system was verified through mechanical testing.

Findings

Experimental data showed the presence of impact damages significantly changes the buckling modes development and deformation behaviour of the panels. Some differences between the optical and SG sensors during buckling were observed. The buckling waves and failure development were very well indicated during loading by all sensors located on the panel surface but not by the embedded sensors. Good agreement between the data from the SGs and FOBG sensors was achieved for all sensors placed on the stringers, which did not buckle. The good reliability of FOBG sensors during the fatigue and static testing up to panel failure was verified.

Originality/value

The paper gives information about different buckling behaviour of CFRP fuselage stiffened panels in compression. The paper gives detailed information about measured signals from different sensors based on their location on/in the panel structure for realistic loading scenario of composite aerostructures. The paper gives an integrated overview of sensors placement considering possibilities to predicate structure behaviour.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) for the Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative, grant agreement no. 296514.

Citation

Ruzek, R., Kadlec, M., Tserpes, K. and Karachalios, E. (2017), "Monitoring of compressive behaviour of stiffened composite panels using embedded fibre optic and strain gauge sensors", International Journal of Structural Integrity, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 134-150. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSI-11-2015-0052

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited