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Advanced UT Methods for the Inspection and SHM of Composites

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Advanced UT Methods for the Inspection and SHM of Composites


The increasing presence and applications of composite materials in aerospace structures combined with the complex, often hidden damage precipitates the need for improved NDE techniques to move from simple detection to damage diagnosis and prognosis. Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) with advanced ultrasonic (UT) inspection methods can potentially address these issues. Two such methods currently under investigation are Coda Wave NDE and Air-coupled UT (ACUT). This paper presents an overview of efforts to develop these methods into quantitative techniques that are capable of damage diagnosis in fibrous composites with the potential for prognosis. The basic inspection capabilities of coda waves generated in carbon-fiber/epoxy plates are presented. Coda waves and the related damage detection are shown to be repeatable and reproducible. Relative damage volume on the order of 1.8E-3 % is detectable and changes in relative defect volume of 1.8E-3 % are discernable. Hole diameter can also be estimated to within 0.5 mm. The application of ACUT guided waves for the inspection of wind turbine blades and commercial wing sections is discussed. ACUT can easily detect and characterize both in-plane and out-ofplane waviness in extremely thick glass-fiber/epoxy lay-ups. Delaminations in the internal spars and webs of wing sections can also be inspected by ACUT guided waves by examining mode conversions and reflections.


Authors: Richard A. Livings, Sunil K. Chakrapani, Vinay Dayal, Dan J. Barnar


Conference: CAMX 2016 – Anaheim


SKU/Code: TP16-0127


Pages: 16

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