Design, application and validation of embedded ultrasonic sensors within composite materials

Jamie Chilles, Anthony Croxford, Ian Bond

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

1 Citation (Scopus)
391 Downloads (Pure)


The layer wise construction of laminated composites offers the potential to embed sensors within composite structures. One possible solution is the embedding of sensors that are inductively coupled to an external probe; which allows for the efficient contactless transfer of electrical signals to the sensor. Embedding sensors within structures is an attractive option, due to the physical protection offered to the sensor by the host structure. However, for embedding sensors to be viable, sensor integration must result in minimal degradation of the laminates mechanical performance. This work focuses on designing embedded inductively coupled sensors for structural performance. A suitable sensor coating for the sensor unit was identified using interlaminar shear strength testing. Sensors were then embedded into quasi-isotropic four-point bend flexural strength specimens, and different embedding strategies demonstrated. In addition to providing the sensor with physical protection, embedding sensors within a composite host offers the additional benefit of monitoring the curing process of the surrounding composite. A single inductively coupled sensor was embedded into a large glass fiber epoxy plate, and the measured guided wave pulse echo response used to monitor the curing process. This novel cure monitoring technique was then benchmarked against direct scanning calorimetry.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStructural Health Monitoring and Inspection of Advanced Materials, Aerospace, and Civil Infrastructure 2015
EditorsPeter Shull
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X

Bibliographical note

Date of Acceptance: 27/03/2015


  • Embedded
  • Inductively coupled
  • Structural integrity
  • Composites
  • Ultrasonic
  • Cure monitoring


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