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23 March 2015 Dispersion of guided waves in composite laminates and sandwich panels
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In composite structures, damages are often invisible from the surface and can grow to reach a critical size, potentially causing catastrophic failure of the entire structure. Thus safe operation of these structures requires careful monitoring of the initiation and growth of such defects. Ultrasonic methods using guided waves offer a reliable and cost-effective method for structural health monitoring in advanced structures. Guided waves allow for long monitoring ranges and are very sensitive to defects within their propagation path. In this work, the relevant properties of guided Lamb waves for damage detection in composite structures are investigated. An efficient numerical approach is used to determine their dispersion characteristics, and these results are compared to those from laboratory experiments. The experiments are based on a pitch-catch method, in which a pair of movable transducers is placed on one surface of the structure to induce and detect guided Lamb waves. The specific cases considered include an aluminum plate and an aluminum honeycomb sandwich panel with woven composite face sheets. In addition, a disbond of the interface between one of the face sheets and the honeycomb core of the sandwich panel is also considered, and the dispersion characteristics of the two resultant waveguides are determined. Good agreement between numerical and experimental dispersion results is found, and suggestions on the applicability of the pitch-catch system for structural health monitoring are made.
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Christoph Schaal and Ajit Mal "Dispersion of guided waves in composite laminates and sandwich panels", Proc. SPIE 9438, Health Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2015, 94380L (23 March 2015);

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