Influence of a Flat Polyimide Inlay on the Propagation of Guided Ultrasonic Waves in a Narrow GFRP-Specimen
Structural health monitoring systems for composite laminates using guided ultrasonic waves become more versatile with the structural integration of sensors. However, the data generated within these sensors have to be transmitted from the laminate to the outside, where polyimide-based printed circuit boards play a major role. This study investigates, to what extent integrated polyimide inlays with applied sensor bodies influence the guided ultrasonic wave propagation in glass fiber-reinforced polymer specimens. For reasons of resource efficiency, narrow specimens are used. Numerical simulations of a damping-free specimen indicate reflections of the S0-mode at the integrated inlay. This is validated experimentally with an air-coupled ultrasonic technique and a 3D laser Doppler vibrometry measurement. The experimental data are evaluated with a method including temporal and spatial continuous wavelet transformations to clearly identify periodically occurring wave packages as edge reflections and distinguish them from possible inlay reflections. However, even when separating in-plane and out-of-plane movements using the 3D measurement, no reflections at the inlays are detected. This leads to the conclusion that polyimide inlays are well suited as substrates for printed circuit boards integrated into fiber-reinforced polymer structures for structural health monitoring, since they do not significantly influence the wave propagation.