A self-powered triboelectric velocity sensor for impact detection in composite structures

Cristobal Garcia, Irina Trendafilova

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


Impacts and collisions are frequent in aircrafts, wind turbines, bridges and other composites structures. Some examples are the collisions between birds and aircrafts during take-off and landing or the damages caused in wind turbines due to the impact of hailstones. Hence, the detection and measurement of these impacts is the vital importance for monitoring the health state of composites structures as aircrafts or wind turbines. The main purpose of the paper is to demonstrate the sensitivity of a novel triboelectric sensor for impact detection in composite structures as aircrafts. For this study, composite plates adhered with the fabricated triboelectric sensor are subjected to various impact velocities using a dropweight machine. The sensor electrical responses due to the impacts are measured with the aim to evaluate the sensitivity of the developed triboelectric sensor to variations in the impact velocities. The results show that the sensor electric responses increase linearly with impact velocity in the range between 1.3 and 2.4 m/s. This paper is the first attempt to demonstrate the potential applications of triboelectric sensors to measure the velocity of the impacts in composite structures, which play an important role for structural health monitoring in aircrafts, bridges and other composite structures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21004
Number of pages6
JournalMATEC Web of Conferences
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2018
Event14th International Conference on Vibration Engineering and Technology of Machinery, VETOMAC 2018 - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 10 Sept 201813 Sept 2018


  • collisions
  • aircraft
  • composite structures


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