System and method for monitoring the integrity of structures

The invention relates to the field of sensors and methods for monitoring the integrity of structures, in particular structures to the prevailing surface development (plates or panels, smooth or ribbed), whether isotropic or made of composite materials.

Title of the patent Piezoelectric sensor, system and method for monitoring the integrity of structures
Thematic area Electrical, electronic and information engineering
Ownership Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna
Inventors Luca De Marchi, Paolo Francia, Alessandro Marzani, Guido Masetti, Nicola Testoni
Protection Italy, United States
Licensing status Available for licensing agreement
Keywords Piezoelectric sensors, signal correlation, elastic waves, impedance matching, impact (source) localization, smart embedded systems
Filed on Sep 11, 2014

The assessment of the structural integrity of the modern aerospace, aeronautic, railway and railroad platforms is crucial for guaranteeing users safety. To this aim structural health monitoring systems allows, by means of sensors glued or permanently embedded in the structure, the early detection of damages, the evaluation of their progression, the evaluation of the effectiveness of repair actions.

The aim of the invention is the integration of a structural health monitoring system in a complex structures, realizing smart structures able to autonomously perform structural health monitoring, without requiring out-of-service time.

With respect to commercial systems, the proposed systems is characterized by

-        the possibility to be applied to both standard and composite materials;

-        reduced power consumption, volume and weight, allowing for reduced operating costs;

-        a reduced cabling complexity, giving way to reduced installation and maintenance costs.