Damage Precursor Detection in Polymer Matrix Composites Using Novel Smart Composite Particles

Project: Research project

Project Details


A novel self-sensing framework using embedded smart composite particles is proposed for identifying damage precursor and propagation. We will synthesize multifunctional core-shell composite particles, composed of a polymeric core and an inorganic shell, which are responsive to stress. The current proposed phase focuses on the fabrication, characterization, and fundamental understanding of the chemistry, physics, and structure/property relationship of the smart composite particles whereas a future phase will be proposed to validate self-healing capability. We will also embed the synthesized smart composite particles into polymer matrix composites (PMCs) with complex braided architecture to monitor/sense damage initiation and evolution through the length scales. The experimental work will be integrated with multiscale modeling. The project includes the following innovative/unique aspects: 1)the proposed smart composite particles are hybrid and multifunctional; 2) the novel synthesis route enables versatility which provides platforms for various applications; 3) the stress sensitive properties such as color and conductivity changing properties will be exploited to provide information on damage precursor and propagation; 4) the integration of particle synthesis, characterization, sensing/monitoring in polymer matrix composites (PMCs) will provide key information to improve assumptions/constitutive relations used in multiscale modeling; 5) The multifunctionality explores next generation material development with potentially optimized self-sensing, thermal, electrical, and future self-healing properties. The research output is expected to make a significant impact in a number of U.S. Air Force applications including fixed wing aircraft, satellites, and space structures where damage and durability are critical issues. The proposed research will be divided into two tasks: Task 1: Synthesis and Characterization of Smart Composite Particles and Task 2: Multiscale Modeling and Smart Composite Particle Fusion.
Effective start/end date6/15/126/14/16


  • DOD-USAF-AFRL: Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR): $750,000.00


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