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Project: Single-Sided Ultrasonic Characterization of (Damaged) Composites having Mechanical and/or Geometrical Anisotropy

2015-10-01 – 2017-10-01


The current and next generation composites are designed by combining high strength fibers with a low density matrix (i.e. low weight), in view of exploiting the advantageous of both. The application of these composites in primary components has changed several industries, including aerospace. The reverse side of the medal is their more involved mechanical nature (complex internal reinforcement architecture, layered media ...) as well as their sensitivity to some specific internal damage phenomena. While the first adds difficulty to correctly understand and predict their response to mechanical loading, the latter could jeopardize the structural integrity. For this, sophisticated non-destructive inspection techniques have to be developed in order to tackle both difficulties. The here proposed technique investigates and analyzes the reflective response of obliquely incident ultrasonic waves in order to determine the health of the investigated component. As such, components can be inspected contactless and single-sided in a nondestructive manner. In this way, the applicant aims to obtain an integral description of the mechanical parameters (stacking sequence, (visco-)elastic tensor, strain tensor), as well as a full assessment of internal damage features. Such a comprehensive approach is unique in the world, and will further contribute to better, safer and more reliable engineering structures. 

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