Coordinated sensing and active repair for self-healing

TitleCoordinated sensing and active repair for self-healing
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsHurley, DA, Huston, DR
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Date Published2011/02

Self-repairing structural systems have the potential for improved performance ranges and lifetimes over conventional systems. Self-healing materials are not a new phenomenon and have been used in automotive and aeronautical applications for over a century. The bulk of these systems operate by using damage to directly initiate a 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 illustrates the benefit of an integrated sensing, control, and self-healing system using laboratory scale test beds. A thermoplastic polymer embedded with resistive heating wires acts as the self-healing material. Damage is detected using an electro-optical sensing scheme based on photoresistors and a PC handling control duties. As damage occurs it is detected, located, and characterized. The key to this project is the integration of sensor feedback to control healing so that repairs are executed, monitored, and completed on the basis of continuous sensor data. This proof-of-concept prototype can likely be expanded and improved with alternative sensor options, self-healing materials, and system architecture.

Short TitleSmart Mater. Struct.
Refereed DesignationRefereed
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