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  1. Meyendorf, Norbert G. ; Farhangdoust, Saman (Ed.)
    Metal-matrix composites with active components have been investigated as a way to functionalize metals. As opposed to surface-mounted approaches, smart materials embedded in metals can be effectively shielded against the environment while providing in-situ sensing, health monitoring, actuation, or energy harvesting functions. Typical manufacturing approaches can be problematic, however, in that they may physically damage the smart material or degrade its electromechanical properties. For instance, non-resin-based embedment procedures such as powder metallurgy involve isostatic compression and diffusion bonding, leading to high process temperatures and breakdown of the electromechanical properties of the active component to be embedded. This paper presents the development and characterization of an aluminum-matrix composite embedded with piezoelectric polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) sensors using ultrasonic additive manufacturing (UAM). UAM incorporates the principles of solid-state, ultrasonic metal welding and subtractive processes to fabricate metal-matrices with seamlessly embedded smart materials and without thermal loading. As implemented in this study, the UAM process uses as-received, commercial Al 6061 tape foilstock and TE Connectivity PVDF film. In order to increase the mechanical coupling between the sensor and the metal-matrix without the aid of adhesives, the PVDF sensor is embedded with an empirically optimized pre-compression defined by the tape foils welded above the sensor.more »The specimen is characterized by tensile (d31 mode), bending (d31 mode), and compression tests (d33 mode) to evaluate its functional performance. Within the investigated load range, the specimen exhibits open-circuit sensitivities of 4.6 mV/N under uniaxial tension and 9.7 mV/N under compressive impulse tests with better than 95% linearity and frequency bandwidth of several kilohertz. The technology presented in this study could be applied for load and tactile sensing, impact detection and localization, thermal measurements, energy harvesting, and non-destructive testing applications.« less