Article Article
Self-Sensing Materials for Nondestructive Evaluation

Recent advances in materials science and engineering have enabled the fabrication of structural materials with enhanced functionalities. One of those functionalities is the ability to self-sense, where the material is engineered to transduce deformations into measurable or observable changes. Such self-sensing capabilities can be leveraged to automate the nondestructive evaluation (NDE) of structural components, also known as structural health monitoring (SHM). This paper provides a tutorial on self-sensing materials that can be used for NDE, with a particular focus on those based on resistance and capacitance measurement principles. The electromechanical principles used in fabricating self-sensing materials are reviewed for both resistance- and capacitance-based self-sensing materials. Next, two example materials are discussed in more detail: a self-sensing concrete based on electrical resistance and a self-sensing carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) based on electrical capacitance. The paper concludes with an example of a system-level application consisting of a masonry building equipped with smart bricks, with a focus on linking signals to damage discovery and condition assessment.



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