The finite element method was used to study the performance of hollow active fiber composites (HAFC) and the effect of the fiber damage on this performance. The finite element model was developed for the simulation of the PZT-5H hollow fiber-epoxy matrix composite with single and dual electrode bus systems. The simulations were performed for the actuation and sensing functions of the composites with healthy and broken fibers. The results of the healthy HAFC models were compared to the experimental data and numerical results found in the literature. The effect of broken fibers in the composite structure on both the actuation and sensing performance was studied. The results demonstrate that a gap in the fiber leads to actuation performance loss. The loss in the performance is directly related to the location of the fiber and its proximity to the electric potential source. The results also demonstrate that this loss could be minimized by applying a dual electrode system at both ends of the composite. In the sensing application utilizing HAFC, it was shown that these types of composites have several advantages over solid active fiber composites.

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Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Martinez, M. (M.), Kernaghan, R. (R.), & Artemev, A. (2010). Finite element analysis of broken fiber effects on hollow active fiber composites. Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, 21(1), 107–113. doi:10.1177/1045389X09351609