Low energy impact damage detection in laminar termoplastic composite materials by means of embedded optical fibers
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The possibility of applying optical fibers as sensors for investigation of real time low energy impact damage in laminar thermoplastic composite materials has been studied. For that purpose intensity based optical fibers were embedded in composite material specimens. Kevlar 129 (DuPont's registered trade-mark for poly (p-phenylene terephthalamide)) woven fabric was used as reinforcement. Impact toughness testing by the Charpy impact pendulum was conducted in order to investigate low energy impacts. Transient intensity of optical signal during the impact, were compared with material crack initiation energy and crack propagation energy. Following this approach, development of damage in material was monitored. Obtained results show that intensity based optical fibers could be used as detectors for material damage appearance, and also, for level evaluation of its degradation caused by low energy impacts.