Dev & Application of an Acoustic Waveguide Technology to In-Process Cure and In-Service Dynamic Resp. Monitoring of Liq. Molded Composite Armor Smart
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4619 Viewridge Ave., San Diego, CA, 92123
AbstractThe objective of this program is to develop a rugged, low cost, easy to implement, in-situ ultrasonic sensor system that can be used for manufacturing process and in-service health monitoring of monocoque or hybrid liquid molded composite armor structural parts The proposed ultrasonic sensor technology is based on acoustic wave propagation in thin metallic wire or plate waveguides embedded in a composite part during and after it is manufactured. The embedded sensors are multi-functional. If successfully developed, the sensors and sensor system will be able to monitor the flow/cure of the structural parts during manufacturing and, after placed in-service, assess the health conditions through monitoring the dynamic vibrational responses. Ultimately, this technology may be used to intelligently control the composite structures. Success in this program can result in significant cost reduction for the Army in the operation and maintenance support of the composite armor fleet. A widespread commercial application of this technology in the civilian sector is also foreseeable as it can provide an effective tool to improve composite manufacturing efficiency and consistency and diagnose the health condition of the composite structures. An ultrasonic sensor technology and measurement system that can monitor the resin cure in-situ of thick armor composite structures made by liquid molding techniques such as RTM and SCRIMP. The sensor technology can also be used for dynamic vibrational response measurement in smart composite structures.
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