Integrated structural health monitoring by 3D printed m

Journal of Regenerative Medicine .ISSN: 2325-9620

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Integrated structural health monitoring by 3D printed metallic structures

Lincy Pyl, Maria Strantza, Dimitrios Aggelis, Dieter de Baere, Patrick Guillaume and Danny Van Hemelrijck

Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium

: J Regen Med


Metal additive manufacturing technologies opened the door to the production of near-net shape products, lightweight structures and allow complex shapes to be manufactured. This innovation in combination with the need for assessment of the structural integrity, also in hard to access areas of engineering structures, has led to the development of an effective Structural Health Monitoring (eSHM) system. The system is based on a network of capillaries integrated in metallic structures to detect and monitor cracks by direct measurement of pressure changes. As these parts, like for example aircraft components in operational conditions, are cyclically loaded, their fatigue life is studied. The specimens with capillary are produced using two AM techniques: The metal-based powder bed fusion, Selective Laser Melting (SLM), and the direct Laser Metal Deposition (LMD) technologies. The existing literature clearly illustrates that the layer-wise manner of building, the rapid solidification and the high cooling rates inherent in AM processes most probably lead to residual stresses, roughness and porosities in the AM components which are negatively influencing the mechanical behavior and fatigue life. Therefore, four-point bending fatigue tests on AM and conventional specimens were conducted with special attention to crack nucleation, crack propagation, residual stresses and robustness of the eSHM system. The crack detection capability of the novel eSHM concept on a metallic structure has been demonstrated by means of various Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) methods.


Lincy Pyl is a Professor at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium. Her research expertise is related to structural design and analysis, numerical modeling, metal and composite structures, structural behavior under exceptional loading conditions, mechanical characterization and behavior of lightweight/3D printed materials under fatigue, under high speed load conditions like blast, impact and crush.


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