Purdue University Graduate School
IshanKarnik_PurdueAAEMSThesis.pdf (9.41 MB)

The Effect of Fatigue Loading on Electrical Impedance in Open-Hole Carbon Nanofiber-Modified Glass Fiber/Epoxy Composites

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posted on 2020-05-07, 14:46 authored by Ishan Tanay KarnikIshan Tanay Karnik
Fiber-reinforced composite (FRC) materials are ideal for the aerospace and automotive industries which require high-strength structures with exceptional specific properties. The unfortunate reality is composite materials are susceptible to complex failure modes and difficult-to-predict damage growth as a result of their heterogeneity and anisotropy. Thus, robust structural health monitoring (SHM) for in-operation tracking of damage formation and accumulation is important for these materials. Self-sensing materials are a strong candidate to replace traditional composite SHM because they do not suffer from the disadvantages of point-based sensing. The piezoresistive effect in nanofiller-modified materials is a common approach to material self-sensing. Research to date in piezoresistivity has predominantly focused on the direct current (DC) response of such materials. This is an important limitation because alternating current (AC) has important advantages – it inherently possesses more information (AC data can relate both impedance magnitude and phase to damage), AC effects can be leveraged for improved damage sensitivity, and AC interrogation can reduce power requirements. Therefore, to develop knowledge that will facilitate the transition to AC, this work explores the effect of high-cycle
fatigue loading on the AC response of carbon nanofiber (CNF)-modified glass fiber/epoxy laminates. In this study, impedance magnitude and phase angle are measured along the length and through the thickness of composite specimens with an open-hole stress concentration
subjected to tension fatigue-loading up to 10 MHz. The collected impedance data is fit to an equivalent circuit model as a function of cycle. These results show that high-cycle fatigue loading does indeed have an appreciable effect on the equivalent circuit behavior of the material. However, clear and definitive trends were not observed thereby suggesting that further research is needed into the basic mechanisms of AC transport in nanocomposites if frequency-dependent transport is to be used to track fatigue loading.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics


  • Aeronautics and Astronautics

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Tyler N. Tallman

Additional Committee Member 2

R. B. Pipes

Additional Committee Member 3

Michael D. Sangid

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