Paper number 1100

SMART SENSORS FOR RESIN FLOW AND COMPOSITE CURE MONITORING

Rodriguez-Lence F.2, Munoz-Esquer P.2, Menendez J.M1, Pardo de Vera C.1, Diaz S1.,Guemes, J.A.1

1Aerospace Materials Department, ETSI Aeronauticos, UPM
Pza. Cardenal Cisneros, 3. 28040 Madrid, Spain
2Construcciones AeronŠuticas S.A. Dpt. Process Engineering
Avda. John Lennon, GETAFE 28000 Madrid, Spain

Summary A procedure for monitoring the resin flow front advancement in the RTM process based on an array of optical fibres placed in the preform has been developed. The system is robust and adaptable to any part geometry.
Besides, the operation of a miniature optical fibre sensing probe for resin cure monitoring is described. The head of the probe can detect the changes in the refractive index of the resin due to cure shrinkage, and its temperature, has an internal reference to compensate any external disturbances, such as power drifts or macro and microbending in the optical fibers, that previously restricted the use of this technique to laboratory environments.
Both functions are carried out by a single multitask optoelectronic system developed by the UPM, which is also able to monitor up to sixteen embeddable optical fibre probes with six sensors each for strain/temperature measurements of in-service composite structures. The system operates under Labview control.
Keywords fiber optic sensor, RTM, cure monitoring, smart processing.

Theme : Smart Materials and Smart Manufacturing

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