The interest in the use of composite materials in thin-walled structures has grown over the last decades due to their well-known superior mechanical performance and reduced weight when compared with traditional materials. Notwithstanding, composite structures are susceptible to damage during manufacturing and to fatigue degradation during service, which grants inspection and maintenance strategies outstanding importance in the duty of mitigating premature failures and reducing whole life cycle costs. This paper aims to provide a cross-sectoral view of the current and potential maintenance strategies that are drawing the attention of the different industries and researchers by reviewing the current use and limitations of composites structures, the impact of maintenance in the whole-life cycle of the composite structures, the health and condition monitoring techniques applied, and the benefits and limitations of the currently used and potential maintenance strategies. Finally, the health and condition monitoring techniques and maintenance approaches used by the different industries are contrasted to identify trends and divergences and suggest research gaps and industrial opportunities.
- polymer–matrix composites (PMCs)
- composite structures
- structural health monitoring (SHM)
- cyber-physical structures (CPS)