The prediction and detection of damage within an adhesive joint presents a particular challenge. The computation methods commonly used for dimensioning and designing show significant deficits. In particular, the computation of damage initiation and -progression prove to be problematic, as varying production quality and insufficient knowledge on the fatigue behaviour increase the mismatch between theoretical prediction and actual behaviour of the component. As a consequence, client acceptance and confidence in operational reliability will be limited.
Another challenge is the structural assessment of an already present damage. Adhesive joints can be examined in a non-destructive manner even after their completion, a process determining however only the magnitude of a damaged area, not the effect of the damage on the structural mechanical behaviour. Direct conclusions on the residual strength or the remaining life time are not possible.
In this research project aims to develop an efficient and reliable system of structural health monitoring, which will be able to recognize and assess a damage in operation. By taking into account the present damage into the static computational models, the change in the structural behaviour can be assessed and efficient damage indicators can be determined. Operators of the monitored structures and their contract partners benefit from a better predictability of operation and maintenance. The design of monitoring systems and the marketing of the acquired data present new business opportunities, that can be accessed by small and medium enterprises.