An Early Warning System for Damage in Composite Materials

by John Roberts on February 18, 2020

New mechanophore senses damage to fiber reinforced polymers.
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An Early Warning System for Damage in Composite Materials

A man in a hard hat is holding a clipboard and looking toward a large wind turbine.

A team at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a tool to monitor changes in widely used composite materials known as fiber reinforced polymers (FRPs), which can be found in everything from aerospace and infrastructure to wind turbines. The new tool, integrated into these materials, can help measure the damage that occurs as they age.

“This gives us the ability to develop better, more fatigue-resistant composites,” said NIST chemist Jeff Gilman. “We can see when the fiber starts to break. We now have a way to quantify the damage.”

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