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Guided Wave Generation and Propagation in Piezoelectric Composite Plates for Establishing Structural Self-awareness



This paper presents a numerical investigation of guided wave generation, propagation, interaction with damage, and reception in piezoelectric composite plates for the purpose of establishing structural self-awareness. This approach employs piezoelectric composite materials as both load bearing structure and sensing elements. To understand the wave propagation characteristics in piezoelectric composite plates, finite element modal analysis of a plate cell with Bloch-Floquet condition is performed. A comparative study is carried out between a standard composite plate and a piezoelectric composite plate to highlight the influence of piezoelectricity on guided wave dispersion relations. Subsequently, a transient dynamic coupled-field finite element model is constructed to simulate the procedure of guided wave generation, propagation, interaction with damage, and reception in a piezoelectric composite plate. Active sensing array is designed to capture the structural response containing the damage information. Three engineering scenarios are considered to demonstrate the ultrasonic sensing capability of the piezoelectric composite system: a pristine case, a one-damage-location case, and a two-damage-location case. Finally, time-reversal method is utilized to locate and image the damage zones. This research shows that piezoelectric composite material possesses great potential to establish structural selfawareness, if it serves both as the load bearing and structural sensing component.


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