Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical Engineering

Document Type



In this dissertation, an experimental approach for characterizing energy dissipation and degradation evolution in a woven Epoxy/Glass (G10/FR4) laminate subjected to fully reversed bending fatigue test is presented. Infrared thermography and acoustic emission are utilized to characterize the degradation progression. The results show similar evolutionary response indicating the presence of three degradation stages. The effect of the surface cooling on the fatigue life of the laminates is investigated both experimentally and analytically. The results show that the life of the laminate is highly dependent on the temperature and that surface cooling can significantly increase the fatigue life of the laminate. The signatures of acoustic emission (AE) response emanating from laminates are studied. The distribution of the cumulative AE amplitude is described by a power law. Examination of the evolution of the probability density function (PDF) of the AE energy (counts) reveals two scaling zones wherein the transition from the low energy (count) to high energy (count) regime is identified. The low-energy phase represents very low damage state of the laminate characterized by a power law. The AE energy release and counts follow the statistics and power laws that do not depend on the operational conditions. A fatigue damage detection method for the laminates based on the cumulative information entropy is reported. The cumulative entropy demonstrates a persistent trend of nonlinear damage evolution typically observed in the experimental measures of the damage in composite materials. In this dissertation, a continuum formulation for irreversible energy dissipation that accounts for generated acoustic emissions during the loading of the materials is also developed. The evolution of the dissipative energy for AL6061 specimens is experimentally measured as the material is degraded. A statistically similar behavior is observed in different forms of the dissipated energy as the material degrade. Finally, a damage detection method for detection of wear in thrust ball bearings coated with molybdenum disulphide (MoS2) is presented. It employs an energy feature obtained from time-frequency representation of the vibration signal. Extensive experimental studies are conducted to verify the efficacy of the proposed method for fault diagnosis of MoS2 coating.



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Committee Chair

Khonsari, Michael