Real-time nondestructive evaluation of fiber composite laminates using low-frequency Lamb waves

Sergio H. Díaz Valdés, Costas Soutis

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    Amid the nondestructive evaluation techniques available for the inspection of composite materials, only a few are suitable for implementation while the component is in service. The investigation examines the application of Lamb waves at low-frequency-thickness products for the detection of delaminations in thick composite laminates. Surface-mounted piezoelectric devices were excited with a tone burst to generate elastic waves in the structure. Experiments were carried out on composite beam specimens where wave propagation distances over 2 m were achieved and artificially induced delaminations as small as 1 cm2 were successfully identified. The feasibility of employing piezoelectric devices for the development of smart structures, where a small and lightweight transducer system design is required, has been demonstrated. The resonance spectrum method, which is based on the study of spectra obtained by forced mechanical resonance of samples using sine-sweep excitation, has been proposed as a technique for measuring the Ao Lamb mode phase velocity. The finite-element method was also used to investigate qualitatively the dynamic response of laminates to wave propagation. Several locations and spatial distribution of the actuators were examined showing the advantages of using transducers arrays for the inspection of large structures. © 2002 Acoustical Society of America.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2026-2033
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
    Issue number5 I
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


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