Survivability of integrated PVDF film sensors to accelerated ageing conditions in aeronautical/aerospace structures
This work validates the use of integrated polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) film sensors for dynamic testing, even after being subjected to UV-thermo-hygro-mechanical accelerated ageing conditions. The verification of PVDF sensors' survivability in these environmental conditions, typically confronted by civil and military aircraft, is the main concern of the study. The evaluation of survivability is made by a comparison of dynamic testing results provided by the PVDF patch sensors subjected to an accelerated ageing protocol, and those provided by neutral non-aged sensors (accelerometers). The available measurements are the time-domain response signals issued from a modal analysis procedure, and the corresponding frequency response functions (FRF). These are in turn used to identify the constitutive properties of the samples by extraction of the modal parameters, in particular the natural frequencies. The composite specimens in this study undergo different accelerated ageing processes. After several weeks of experimentation, the samples exhibit a loss of stiffness, represented by a decrease in the elastic moduli down to 10%. Despite the ageing, the integrated PVDF sensors, subjected to the same ageing conditions, are still capable of providing reliable data to carry out a close followup of these changes. This survivability is a determinant asset in order to use integrated PVDF sensors to perform structural health monitoring (SHM) in the future of full-scale composite aeronautical structures.