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Energy Harvesting behaviour for Aircraft Composites Structures using Macro-Fibre Composite: Part I–Integration and ExperimentShi, Yu; Zhu, Meiling; Hallett, Stephen R; University of Chester; University of Exeter; University of Bristol (Composite Structure, 2016-11-12)This paper investigates new ways to integrate piezoelectric energy harvesting elements onto carbon-fibre composite structures, using a new bonding technique with a vacuum bag system and co-curing process, for fabrication onto airframe structures. Dynamic mechanical vibration tests were performed to characterise the energy harvested by the various integration methods across a range of different vibration frequencies and applied mechanical input loadings. An analytical model was also introduced to predict the power harvested under the mechanical vibrations as a benchmark to evaluate the proposed methods. The developed co-curing showed a high efficiency for energy harvesting at a range of low frequencies, where the co-curing method offered a maximum improvement of 14.3% compared to the mechanical bonding approach at a frequency of 10 Hz. Furthermore, co-curing exhibited potential at high frequency by performing the sweep test between frequencies of 1 and 100 Hz. Therefore, this research work offers potential integration technology for energy harvesting in complicated airframe structures in aerospace applications, to obtain the power required for environmental or structural health monitoring.