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Development of Digital Twin technology as a demonstrator for real-time integrity assessment of crack growth in tensile specimens

Project Code: 35239

Start date and planned duration: January 2023, 18 months


  • Develop a Digital Twin demonstrator for real-time integrity assessment of crack growth in tensile specimens.
  • Develop a decision making tool to prevent critical failure.
  • Integrate sensing technologies with digital technologies for proactive control of operations.

Project Outline

This CRP aims to build a demonstrator of a Digital Twin technology by leveraging currently existing technologies across TWI and articulate them so that the Digital Twin provides an effective, proactive, real-time, decision-making tool for predicting critical damage to structures.

The selected application are thermosetting composite (RTR) coupons subjected to tensile loading. The coupons will be monitored with Acoustic Emission (AE) technology which will detect and localise damage progression. The AE signals will be interpreted live and will feed a previously calibrated Finite Element Analysis (FEA) model of the coupons. The FEA model will establish the current state of stress and predict future damage propagation. In case of predicted critical damage, the FEA model will alarm and communicate the test rig to stop the tensile load application hence preserving the structural integrity of the coupon. Computed Tomography (XCT) will be used as an independent benchmark technology so as to support and validate the AE data interpretation and FEA model assumptions. The project concept is shown in the figure below:

35239-Decision tool

Figure 1 Decision tool concept

The development of the Digital Twin will be executed in accordance to DNV-GL-RP-A204 “Qualification and assurance of Digital Twins” for consistent development and future technology qualification.


Industry Sectors

-     Electronics and Sensors

-     Automotive

-     Medical Equipment


 Benefits to Industry

  • Proven demonstrator of Digital Twin technologies will enable its development and tailoring to more advanced and sophisticated applications from TWI’s Industrial Members.
  • Increased understanding in damage mechanism propagation and how to conduct their early detection and localisation with monitoring technologies.
  • Tested and verified algorithms for analytical damage prediction which can be applied to relevant structures and assets.
  • Development of a communication tool which will enable the real-time decision-making. 

For more information please email: