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Non-Destructive Testing of Composites by Ultrasound, Local Defect Resonance and Thermography
* 1 , 1 , 1 , 1, 2 , 1
1  Department of Materials, Textiles and Chemical Engineering (MaTCh), Ghent University, Technologiepark-Zwijnaarde 903, 9052 Zwijnaarde, Belgium
2  SIM Program M3 DETECT-IV, Technologiepark-Zwijnaarde 935, B-9052 Zwijnaarde, Belgium


Different non-destructive testing techniques have been evaluated for detecting and assessing damage in carbon fiber reinforced plastics: (i) ultrasonic C-scan, (ii) local defect resonance of front/back surface and (iii) lock-in infrared thermography in reflection. Both artificial defects (flat bottom holes and inserts) and impact damage (barely visible impact damage) have been considered. The ultrasonic C-scans in reflection shows good performance in detecting the defects and in assessing actual defect parameters (e.g. size and depth), but it requires long scanning procedures and water coupling. The local defect resonance technique shows acceptable defect detectability, but has difficulty in extracting actual defect parameters without a priori knowledge. The thermographic inspection is by far the fastest technique, and shows good detectability of shallow defects (depth < 2 mm). Lateral sizing of shallow damage is also possible. The inspection of deeper defects (depth > 3-4 mm) in reflection is problematic and requires advanced post-processing approaches in order to improve the defect contrast to detectable limits.

Keywords: Non-destructive testing; Composites; Ultrasound; Local Defect Resonance; Lock-in thermography
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