Intelligent material systems using epoxy particles to repair microcracks and delamination damage in GFRP

M. Zako, N. Takano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

185 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this study is to propose an intelligent material system that can perform a self-repairing operation against initial damage that might occur in GFRP laminates. Specifically, we highlight the development of a novel actuator to be used in such self-repairing operations. There has been much research on sensor systems to detect damage and some actuators to control the shape of the structure or to control the vibration. However, no literature can be found on the actuator aiming at the self-repair of damage. For this purpose, a small grain particle-type adhesive is embedded in a glass/epoxy composite (GFRP) laminate. The diameter of the particle is approximately 50 μm. Hence, in the developed intelligent material system, coldsetting epoxy resin is used as the matrix, uni-directionally arranged glass fiber is used as the reinforcement, and a thermosetting epoxy particle is used as a repairing actuator. The volume fraction of the particles in the matrix was approximately 40%. The embedded particles can repair the damage, when melted by heat. Basic characteristics of the particles were investigated first, and we confirmed that the embedded particles in the matrix can melt by heat and flow to repair the crack. We also confirmed that the embedded particles do not deteriorate the stiffness of the GFRP laminate. Then we investigated the efficiency of the repairing operation against initial damage such as microscopic matrix cracks and delamination, by conducting two typical tests, i.e., static three-point bending of [0/90] laminate and tensile fatigue of [0/90]s laminate. Damage was observed by CCD camera. As a result, the decrease in the stiffness due to initial damage has been recovered and consequently increased, the residual fatigue life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)836-841
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Oct
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering


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