Damage Assessment of Smart Composite Plates using Piezoceramic and Acoustic Emission Sensors


An experimental study is conducted to develop a technique for detecting and assessing damage in laminated composite plates using piezoceramic (PZT) and acoustic emission (AE) sensors. Test specimens of glass/epoxy and graphite/epoxy composite plates are fabricated using a hot press cure technique. PZT patches and AE sensors are surface mounted on the composite plates to serve as sensors. Low velocity impact tests of plates with all four edges clamped are conducted using a drop weight testing frame with the composites in an undamaged state and again after the composites are damaged. Two test methods are used to assess the damage of the composite plates. The piezoceramic sensor output and the acoustic emission sensor signals are measured during the impact tests. Modal testing is performed to determine the frequencies and dampings of the structures from the frequency response function. The plate is then damaged by a high velocity impact and the results are correlated with the undamaged plate data. It is found that the piezoceramic sensor output is very sensitive to the composite damage and a change in modal frequencies and dampings is observed.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


University of Missouri, Grant None

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1996-756X; 0277-786X

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





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Publication Date

01 May 1994