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Embedded Thin-Film Sensor for Crack Detection and Monitoring in Fracture Critical Turbine Engine Components

[+] Author Affiliations
S. J. Hudak, Jr., B. R. Lanning, G. M. Light, K. S. Chan, J. A. Moryl, J. R. Pruitt

Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX

Paper No. GT2006-91260, pp. 911-918; 8 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2006: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 2: Aircraft Engine; Ceramics; Coal, Biomass and Alternative Fuels; Controls, Diagnostics and Instrumentation; Environmental and Regulatory Affairs
  • Barcelona, Spain, May 8–11, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4237-1 | eISBN: 0-7918-3774-2
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


The development and implementation of an integrated health management system has the potential to significantly enhance the reliability and readiness of high-value assets, while concurrently decreasing sustainment costs. A key aspect of this approach is on-board sensing to provide continual feedback on the evolving damage state at the material and component level. This paper summarizes the development and status of an embedded, thin-film, wireless, sensor for detecting and monitoring material damage state (i.e., cracking) in critical turbine engine components at elevated temperature. The potential benefits of on-board detection and monitoring of defects, as compared to periodic depot inspections, were previously assessed using probabilistic simulations. These results provided target sensitivities for the development of the thin-film sensor. The status of the sensor system is summarized including its ability to generate elastic waves and detect/monitor fatigue cracks in engineering materials at temperatures to 500°F (260°C). Crack detection sensitivities with and without load application are compared, as well as those for wired versus wireless signal transmission.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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