Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Shankar Mall, PhD


This study primarily investigated the mechanical effects of embedding piezoelectric sensors on the tensile and fatigue strength of a quasi-isotropic, carbon-epoxy laminate. A secondary focus was the investigation of the sensor degradation under tensile loading. A [0 | ±45 | 90]s laminate was fabricated from Hercules AS4/3501-6 pre-preg tape. Specimens were first tested monotonically to obtain an average ultimate tensile strength and to detail the progression of damage. The fatigue tests were tension-tension, R=0.1, 10 Hz, constant amplitude. Results indicated that the embedded piezoelectric sensors did not have a significant effect on the tensile strength of the laminate. Specimens with embedded sensors showed a more extensive decrease in stiffness, but a lesser degree of overall delamination due to edge effects. The embedded sensors functioned consistently at the manufacturer suggested operational range, but degraded rapidly thereafter.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number