A Review of Structural Health Monitoring Techniques as Applied to Composite Structures
Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) is the process of collecting, interpreting, and analysing data from structures in order to determine its health status and the remaining life span. Composite materials have been extensively use in recent years in several industries with the aim at reducing the total weight of structures while improving their mechanical properties. However, composite materials are prone to develop damage when subjected to low to medium impacts (ie 1 – 10 m/s and 11 – 30 m/s respectively). Hence, the need to use SHM techniques to detect damage at the incipient initiation in composite materials is of high importance. Despite the availability of several SHM methods for the damage identification in composite structures, no single technique has proven suitable for all circumstances. It must be noted that the amount of techniques available nowadays is too extensive to be comprehensively reviewed in a single paper. Therefore, the focus will be on techniques that can serve as a starting point for studies focusing on damage detection, localisation, assessment and prognosis on certain kinds of structures. Thus, the line of thought behind the search and the structure of this review is a result of objectives beyond the scope of the paper itself. Nevertheless, it was considered that, once the above was understood, an updated synopsis such as this could also be useful for other researchers in the same field.