Innovative welding integration of acousto-ultrasonic composite transducers onto thermoplastic composite structures

Shankar Galiana*, Morteza Moradi, Peter Wierach, Dimitrios Zarouchas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Acousto-ultrasonic composite transducers (AUCTs), comprising piezoceramic materials in a reinforced polymeric matrix, show promise for structural health monitoring in composite structures. Challenges arise when integrating AUCTs onto highly loaded thermoplastic composites, especially low-surface-energy materials like polyaryletherketone composites. To address this, the study explores the viability of attaching AUCTs to low-melting polyaryletherketone carbon fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composite structures using ultrasonic welding. This welding technique forms a joint where the interface material fuses with the AUCT embedment and the structure matrix, providing a reliable and automatable process. The investigation includes a comparative analysis of an ultrasonic welded joint with an external energy director and a reference AUCT system integrated using a vacuum bagging oven procedure. Results highlight the potential of AUCT configurations integrated by ultrasonic welding as an alternative solution, acknowledging challenges that persist for further development and increased reliability in structural health monitoring applications.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalStructural Health Monitoring
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Keywords

  • acousto-ultrasonic composite transducers
  • guided waves
  • Piezoelectric wafer active sensor
  • structural health monitoring
  • thermoplastic composites
  • ultrasonic welding

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