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17 April 2013 Lamb waves in a honeycomb composite sandwich plate
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Composite materials are being used increasingly in advanced aircraft and aerospace structures. Despite their many advantages including high strength to weight ratio, formability and low coefficient of thermal expansion, composites are often susceptible to hidden damage that may occur during their manufacturing and/or service of the structure. Safe operation of composite structures requires careful monitoring of the initiation and growth of such defects before they grow to a critical size resulting in possible catastrophic failure of the structure. Ultrasonic methods using guided waves offer a reliable and cost effective method for defects monitoring in advanced structures due to their long propagation range and their sensitivity to defects in their propagation path. In this paper some of the useful properties of guided Lamb type waves are investigated in an effort to provide the knowledge base required for the development of viable defects monitoring systems in composite structures. Some of our recent research in this area is presented in this paper. The research includes laboratory experiments using a pitch catch method in which a pair of moveable transducers are placed on the outside surface of the structure for generating and recording the wave signals. The recorded signals are analyzed to construct the dispersion and other relevant properties of the guided waves. Theoretical simulations using analytical and numerical methods are carried out and compared with the experimental results. The specific cases considered include an aluminum plate, a woven quasi-isotropic composite panel and an aluminum honeycomb panel with woven composite face sheets. The agreement between the experimental and theoretical results are shown to be excellent in certain frequency ranges, but not for others, providing a guidance for the design of effective inspection systems.
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Himadri Samajder, Harsh Baid, Fabrizio Ricci, and Ajit Mal "Lamb waves in a honeycomb composite sandwich plate", Proc. SPIE 8695, Health Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2013, 869505 (17 April 2013);

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