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Exfoliation detection using structurally integrated piezoelectric ultrasonic transducers

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Advanced sensors and sensor network technologies are shaping the future of civilian and military air platform health assessment and monitoring. In this paper, the feasibility of applying a structurally integrated thick-film piezoelectric ceramic ultrasonic transducer for monitoring exfoliation corrosion damage is investigated. The ultrasonic transducer can easily and reliably be deposited on metallic and polymeric structures using a sol-gel spray approach. The change in material thickness due to exfoliation damage is estimated using ultrasonic time-of-flight measurements. Experimental results from two aluminium (Al.7075-T6511) specimens are presented. In comparison, conventional water-coupled ultrasonic tests were also conducted to generate a thickness map for each selected specimen before the integrated transducers were fabricated. Close correlation was obtained between both conventional and integrated thick-film ultrasonic measurements, demonstrating the effectiveness of the integrated thick-film ultrasonic transducer for exfoliation corrosion damage assessment and monitoring.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2006

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