Low-velocity impact damage monitoring of a sandwich composite wing

Yingtao Liu, Aditi Chattopadhyay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Impact damage has been identified as a critical form of defect that constantly threatens the reliability of composite structures, such as those used in aircrafts and naval vessels. Low-energy impacts can introduce barely visible damage and cause structural degradation. Therefore, efficient structural health monitoring methods, which can accurately detect, quantify, and localize impact damage in complex composite structures, are required. In this article, a novel damage detection methodology is demonstrated for monitoring and quantifying the impact damage propagation. Statistical feature matrices, composed of features extracted from the time and frequency domains, are developed. Kernel principal component analysis is used to compress and classify the statistical feature matrices. Compared with traditional principal component analysis algorithm, kernel principal component analysis method shows better feature clustering and damage quantification capabilities. A new damage index, formulated using the Mahalanobis distance, is defined to quantify impact damage. The developed methodology has been validated using low-velocity impact experiments with a sandwich composite wing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2074-2083
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures
Issue number17
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • Low-velocity impact damage
  • active sensing
  • damage index
  • damage quantification
  • kernel principal component analysis
  • macro fiber composite
  • sandwich composite wing
  • structural health monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanical Engineering


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