Method and system for detecting damage in aligned carbon nanotube fiber composites using networks

Methods and structural defect detectors for detecting a structural defect in composites are presented. An exemplary method includes forming a nanocomposite including a plurality of nanotubes mechanically aligned in a principal direction within a polymer matrix. A voltage is applied to the nanocomposite and a resistance of the nanocomposite is measured using the applied voltage to detect the structural defect. An exemplary structural defect detector includes a nanocomposite including a plurality of mechanically aligned nanotubes within the polymer matrix, electrodes coupled to the nanocomposite, a voltage source for applying a voltage to the electrodes, and a resistance detector for measuring a resistance of the nanocomposite that allows identification of a structural defect. The plurality of nanotubes form a conducting percolating network of sensors.

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US 7786736.jpg

US 7,786,736


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