Effective Structural Health Monitoring through the Monitoring of Pressurized Capillaries in Additive Manufactured Materials

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper


Additive Manufacturing is an emerging manufacturing technology, able to create three dimensional components in a layerwise manner. The freeform design liberty and the ability to integrate functions have paved the way for the creation of low-weight smart materials. Such materials have gained the interest of many industries and in particular aerospace, with the first AM components already flying around. However, the unrepeatable material behaviour and lack of proper process control still form major challenges to become widely adopted in aeronautical applications. The so-called eSHM system, a dedicated SHM strategy for AM components, is proposed to inspect the AM material for fatigue cracks. Capillaries are integrated during the production of the component. The capillaries are located in the zones where fatigue cracks are expected to grow. Initially being pressurized, the capillary pressure becomes very sensitive to leaks created by the fatigue cracks propagating through the capillary. A loss of capillary pressure indicates the presence of a fatigue crack. Current AM methods lack a proper surface finishing, but hybrid machines combining AM and conventional manufacturing technologies are emerging, capable of combining the freeform asset of AM with the proper surface finishing of conventional subtractive manufacturing. The current work therefore focuses on the capability of detecting fatigue cracks in AM material with straight, drilled capillaries with proper surface finishing. Fatigue tests will be conducted on four point bending fatigue tests and fatigue initiation location will be determined on basis of fracture analysis. The integrated eSHM system is capable of detecting all fatigue cracks and the presence of the integrated capillaries does not negatively affect the structural performance of the AM component.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEuropean Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2018
Event9th European Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring - Hilton Hotel, Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Jul 201813 Jul 2018
Conference number: 9th


Conference9th European Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring
Abbreviated titleEWSHM2018
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Smart Materials
  • Novel Techniques
  • Sensors
  • Fatigue
  • Metals


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