Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Victor Giurgiutiu


This research proposes a new approach to structural health monitoring (SHM) for composite laminates using piezoelectric wafer active sensors (PWAS) and fiber optic bragg grating sensors (FBG). One major focus of this research was directed towards extending the theory of laminates to composite beams by combining the global matrix method (GMM) with the stiffness transfer matrix method (STMM). The STMM approach, developed by Rokhlin et al (2002), is unconditionally stable and is more computationally efficient than the transfer matrix method (TMM). Starting from theory, we developed different configurations for composite beams and validated the results from the developed analytical method against experimental data. STMM was then developed for pristine composite beam and delaminated composite beam. We studied the influence of the bonded PWAS by looking at their mode frequencies and amplitudes via experiments and simulations with different sensor positions on pristine and damaged beams, with different delamination sizes and depths. We also extended the TMM and the electro-mechanical (E/M) impedance method for applications to the convergence of TMM of beam vibrations. The focus was on the high-accuracy predictive modeling of the interaction between PWAS and structural waves and vibration using a methodology as in Cuc (2010). We expanded the frequency resonances of a uniform beam from the range of 1-30 kHz previously studied by Cuc (2010) to a higher frequency range of 10-100 kHz and performed the reliability and accuracy analysis (error rates) of all available theoretical models (modal expansion, TMM, and FEM) given experimental data for the uniform beam specimen. Another focus of this research was to explore the use of FBG for fiber composites applications. We performed tests that vary the load on the free end in order to understand the behavior of composite materials under tensile forces and to extend results to ring sensor applications. The last part this research focused on developing a novel acousto-ultrasonic sensor that can detect acoustic emission (AE) events using optical FBG sensing combined with mechanical resonance amplification principles. This method consists of a sensor that can detect the ultrasonic out of plane motion with preference for a certain frequency (300 kHz). Finally, we introduced the concept of a FBG ring sensor for a Navy application, which can provide significant improvements in detecting vibrations. We use a laser vibrometry tool (PSV-400-3D from Polytec) to study the mode shapes of the sensor ring under different resonance frequencies in order to understand the behavior of the ring in the frequency band of interest (300 kHz) and further compare these results and shapes with FEM predictions (ANSYS WB).Our experiments proved that the concept works and a ring sensor that can reach the first resonance at any desired frequency was built and successfully tested. This work was finalized with an invention disclosure for a novel acousto-ultrasonic FBG ring sensor (Disclosure ID No. 00937). The dissertation ends with conclusions and suggestions for future work.