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Advancing the State of Damage Detection in Metallic and Composite Structures


The aim of this research is to advance the state of the art in damage detection in metallic and composite structures by enabling a modular system approach utilising energy harvesting and wireless communication for industrial applications. The system will be focussed on two damage detection techniques, Acoustic Emission and Acousto-Ultrasonics, for which Cardiff University is internationally recognised in both academia and industry. The University of Bristol have extensive and world leading experience of approaches for modelling damage in composites, whilst the applicants at the Universities of Bath and Exeter are at the forefront in the area of energy harvesting and power management for wireless sensing node applications. 

The proposed research builds upon recent TSB, DSTL and EPSRC that have focussed on aerospace applications. This has led to the continued development of highly optimised systems that will deliver impact in aerospace but will also be applicable for other structures in transport and infrastructure. 

Project summary

This project has led to a successful collaboration of researchers from across GW4, with a better understanding of each institutions capabilities, expertise and facilities as well as developing links with industrial collaboratorsThrough a series of workshops the community identified the major challenges associated with developing an autonomous structural health monitoring system capable of detecting damage and providing appropriate prognosis entirely aligned with the GW4 joint expertise. The community developed an outline proposal for future project, which was taken forward with GW4 Accelerator funding: Unlocking the science for an Autonomous Structural Health Monitoring System 

University of Bath
University of Bristol
Cardiff University
University of Exeter