Exploiting Functional Fibers in Advanced Composite Materials

JA Etches, JJ Scholey, GJ Williams, IP Bond, PH Mellor, MI Friswell & NAJ Lieven (University of Bristol)

Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, Vol. 18, No. 5, May 2007, pp. 449-458


Magnetic fiber reinforced composite material is being developed which utilizes hollow glass fibers filled with active ferromagnetic material. The resulting material maintains structural integrity as is, providing a possible means of electrical power generation from a dynamically loaded structure. The hollow glass fibers are manufactured in-house using a bespoke fiber drawing facility. Hard magnetic powder materials are introduced into the hollow fiber cores to provide an active ferromagnetic function. The first part of this article discusses the ongoing work to manufacture, characterize, and optimize active magnetic fiber reinforced composite materials.

Recent advances in smart material actuators have led to the development of piezoceramic ‘patches’ that utilize the piezoelectric effect of individual fibers encased in a protective environment. Previously, these patches have been either positioned on the surface or embedded within the structure, disrupting the composite lay-up. The second part of the article outlines a study of the feasibility of embedding piezoelectric fibers directly into a composite lay-up, thereby allowing a composite laminate to deform due to internal actuation. Potential improvements to the work have been identified and future work has been proposed to further understand and maximize the performance of integrated piezoelectric fiber composites.

Paper Availability

This material has been published in the Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, Vol. 18, No. 5, May 2007, pp. 449-458. Unfortunately the copyright agreement with Sage Publications does not allow for the PDF file of the paper to be available on this website.

Link to paper using doi:10.1177/1045389X06067094

Link to the Journal website