Early Detection of Damage to Composite Materials

Today’s architects, engineers, and building professionals are looking beyond traditional construction materials, and increasingly turning to composites to create modern structures and component parts. High-performance composites are hybrid materials comprised of a reinforcement fiber and a polymer binder or matrix. A common drawback seen in polymers is a susceptibility to damage in the form of small, often difficult to detect cracks. These tiny imperfections, even at small scales, can compromise the integrity and functionality of polymer materials. Usually, the damage isn’t discovered until there’s a break or failure, meaning it’s too late. However, a new polymer damage indication system now has the ability to highlight places in a structure that are cracked, fractured, scratched or stressed so that they can be addressed before they prove to be a problem.

Developed at the University of Illinois, the new early damage detection system uses tiny, embedded microcapsules containing a pH-sensitive dye in an epoxy resin to automatically highlight areas containing imperfections, enabling engineers to visually see potential problems. If the polymer features damage, the microcapsules will break and release a dye that changes from yellow to red. The greater the severity of imperfection, the more microcapsules are broken, generating a more intense red hue and allowing engineers to better evaluate the damage. Cracks at even the micrometer-scale can cause a color change so that compromises to structural integrity at any size can be properly assessed. The indication system shows long-term stability with no false positives, for reliable results.[1]

Nancy Sottos (Professor of Materials Science and Engineering) and Scott White (Professor of Aerospace Engineering) published their latest research in the journal Advanced Materials. The newly developed warning system has a variety of possible uses, particularly in applications where component or structural failure would prove costly. In addition to the construction industry, the petroleum, air and space transport, and automotive industries are seen as perfect opportunities to leverage the innovative yet simple system.[2] Early detection of damage before a problem arises increases safety, reliability, performance, and cost-savings.

[1] https://news.illinois.edu/view/6367/310128

[2] https://news.illinois.edu/view/6367/310128

Follow us on social media for the latest updates in B2B!

Image

Latest

Hiring Made Human: Hiring When You’re a Start-Up
July 11, 2024

The challenges of hiring for a startup have become more pronounced these days than ever. With technological advancements and evolving market demands, startups must be agile and strategic in their hiring practices to ensure success. According to some studies, nearly 90 percent of startups fail, with a significant factor being the inability to attract…

Read More
Focus on the Customer
Fifth Inning – Focus on the Customer
July 11, 2024

In a compelling narrative by Jesse Cole, the Savannah Bananas, a baseball team known for its unconventional approach, has declared advertising dead. Cole emphatically asserts that while advertising may attract customers, it is the fan experience that fosters lasting loyalty. In a bold move, the Savannah Bananas have eliminated all forms of advertising at…

Read More
Dr. Mark Manera talks Trucking Industry
The Trucking Industry Needs a Fitness Overhaul to Jumpstart a Trucking Health Revolution
July 11, 2024

With the trucking industry seeing many changes that prioritize efficiency and productivity, the health of truck drivers has increasingly peaked as a critical concern. With life expectancies for truck drivers averaging 16 years less than the general population, there is an urgent need to address health issues within the industry. Recent initiatives, like the…

Read More
Excellence Culture with John Brown – CEO, GreatLife Golf
July 10, 2024

The game of golf has been a part of John Brown’s life from childhood. Now he courageously steers the ship of GreatLife Golf. One of the fastest growing golf management companies in the industry. While focusing on a successful business, I believe one of his most attractive traits is his heart to positively impact the…

Read More