Ships are usually under vibration, impact, and other kinds of static and dynamic loads. These loads arise from water flow across the hull or surfaces, the propeller cavitation, and so on. For optimal design purposes and reliable performance, experimental measurements are necessary. These sensors are often used under or near the water, working conditions that improve the risk of sensor damage. This paper aims at investigating, by the use of finite elements, the behavior of damaged piezoelectric sensors under traction and impact loads. The numerical method was calibrated using results available in the literature regarding piezoelectric and elastic plates with a central crack. After calibration, the simulation was used on two types of Lead-Zirconium-Titanium oxide (PZT) sandwich panel structures reinforced by aluminum skins. The results proved that the damage size and impact energy are important factors affecting the response of piezoelectric sensors; therefore, special attention might be considered when using these sensors for marine applications.
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