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Operational Challenges of Marine Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composite Structures Coupled with Piezoelectric Transducers

Authors: H. Ucar, U. Aridogan


Composite structures become intriguing for the design of aerospace, automotive and marine applications due to weight reduction, corrosion resistance and radar signature reduction demands and requirements. Studies on piezoelectric ceramic transducers (PZT) for diagnostics and health monitoring have gained attention for their sensing capabilities, however PZT structures are prone to fail in case of heavy operational loads. In this paper, we develop a piezo-based Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) composite finite element (FE) model, validate with experimental setup, and identify the applicability and limitations of PZTs for a marine application. A case study is conducted to assess the piezo-based sensing capabilities in a representative marine composite structure. A FE model of the composite structure combined with PZT patches is developed, afterwards the response and functionality are investigated according to the sea conditions. Results of this study clearly indicate the blockers and critical aspects towards industrialization and wide-range use of PZTs for marine composite applications.

Keywords: FRP, marine composite, piezoelectric transducer, sea state, wave-induced loads.

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