|Title||Coordinated sensing and autonomous repair of pressure vessels and structures|
|Publication Type||Conference Paper and Presentation|
|Year of Publication||2010|
|Authors||Huston, DR, Hurley, DA, Gollins, K, Gervais, A|
|Conference Name||Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2010|
|Conference Location||San Diego, CA, USA|
Self-repairing structural systems can potentially improve performance ranges and lifetimes compared to those of conventional systems without self-healing capability. Self-healing materials have been used in automotive and aeronautical applications for over a century. The bulk of these systems operate by using the damage to directly initiate the repair response without any supervisory coordination. Integrating sensing and supervisory control technologies with self-healing may improve the safety and reliability of critical components and structures. This project used laboratory scale test beds to illustrate the benefit of an integrated sensing, control and self-healing system. A thermal healing polymer embedded with resistive heating wires acted as the sensing-healing material. Sensing duties were performed using an impedance, capacitance, and resistance testing device and a PC acted as the controller. As damage occurs to the polymer it is detected, located, and characterized. Based on the sensor signal, a decision is made as to whether to execute a repair and then to subsequently monitor the repair process to ensure completeness. The second demonstration was a self-sealing pressure vessel with integrated sensing and healing capability. These proof-of-concept prototypes can likely be expanded and improved with alternative sensor options, sensing-healing materials, and system architecture.
Coordinated sensing and autonomous repair of pressure vessels and structures