An in-situ method for monitoring the health of a composite component utilizes a condition sensor made of electrically conductive particles dispersed in a polymeric matrix. The sensor is bonded or otherwise formed on the matrix surface of the composite material. Age-related shrinkage of the sensor matrix results in a decrease in the resistivity of the condition sensor. Correlation of measured sensor resistivity with data from aged specimens allows indirect determination of mechanical damage and remaining age of the composite component.
This application resulted, in part, from research funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Certain rights for any intellectual property resulting from this application may apply to the Government of the United States.