Applied Composite Materials

, Volume 19, Issue 3–4, pp 379–391 | Cite as

Mechanical Characterization of an Alternative Technique to Embed Sensors in Composite Structures: The Monitoring Patch

  • Mauricio Torres ArellanoEmail author
  • Laurent Crouzeix
  • Francis Collombet
  • Bernard Douchin
  • Yves-Henri Grunevald


Sensor embedding is one of the main operations in dealing with composites in-core instrumentation. In this work, an alternative encapsulation technique called “monitoring patch” is proposed to achieve correct sensor embedding, to facilitate the industrialised instrumentation procedure and to adapt the sensors according to the geometry and material heterogeneities required of the composite structures. The monitoring patch is mainly developed with the aim to reduce the variability effects produced if the sensor alone is placed. In this initial study, a first patch’s configuration is manufactured with CTMI pre-impregnate epoxy–woven glass, hosting two kinds of silicon prism sensors. The monitoring patch is then placed in the thick middle plane of an epoxy-carbon M21 T700GC quasi-isotropic plate. The plates are instrumented with strain gauges and tested using digital image correlation (DIC). The strain field maps are calculated to analyse the over-strain zones and to infer fracture paths. At the same time, a FEM model is developed to compare the numerical and the experimental observations. The results show that the mechanical strength of the instrumented plates is not significantly affected by the presence of the patch. The failure path of the instrumented plates with monitoring patch is found along the patch perimeter; therefore, the sensors can be recovered without damage even after the failure of the instrumented structure. The feasibility of the monitoring patch is discussed with other embedding techniques. In further studies, the monitoring patch will host a streaming sensor with an aim to carry out in-core strain measurements.


Monitoring patch Silicon sensor Embedding Strain field Digital image correlation 



The present work is part of the research project “Multi-sensor Instrumentation for Composite Materials and Structures (I2MC)” financially supported by the Thematic Advanced Research Network for Aeronautic and Space Sciences & Technologies of Toulouse (RTRA STAE).

The first author conveys his special appreciation to the National Council of Science and Technology of Mexico (CONACYT) for the financial support.

The Centre for Spatial Studies on Rays (CESR) and the Laboratory of Analysis and Architecture of Systems (LAAS) are also acknowledged for their technical and scientific collaborations as members of the I2MC project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mauricio Torres Arellano
    • 1
    Email author
  • Laurent Crouzeix
    • 1
  • Francis Collombet
    • 1
  • Bernard Douchin
    • 1
  • Yves-Henri Grunevald
    • 2
  1. 1.Université de Toulouse, INSA, UPS, ICA (Institut Clément Ader)ToulouseFrance
  2. 2.Composites, Expertise & SolutionsCastanet TolosanFrance

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