Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Koorosh Naghshineh

Second Advisor

Dr. Judah Ari-Gur

Third Advisor

Dr. Philip Guichelaar

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


A simulation for the prediction of Polyvinylidene Flouride (or PVDF) sensor charge response to structural vibration displacements of beam and rectangular plate structures was developed. The simulation uses measured vibration displacements from an actual structure using point sensors (accelerometers) assembled in an array on the surface of the structure. The PVDF sensor charge output equation was written for a PVDF film of constant spatial sensitivity so that numerical analysis tools in Matlab® can be used to solve the equation. Preliminary experimental results showed that the bending strain component, due to transverse vibration displacements, is the dominant term for both the beam and the plate used in this work. As such, the simulation accounts for only the bending strain component experienced by the sensor. The simulation is verified analytically, using the PVDF sensor charge output equation, as well as experimentally. Comparisons show that the simulation provides good correlation to the analytical predictions and the experimental sensor results for the beam, however, deviations yet to be resolved are encountered for the plate. Several possible sources for these deviations were identified to be explored in the future. The simulation was also shown to serve as a useful tool in prediction of sensor fabrication errors (in shaping and placement).