Real-time inspection of polymer composites during consolidation

Elizabeth J. Linstrom, Susan C. Mantell

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The goal of this work was to design and implement a noncontact, nondestructive method for evaluating interlaminar bonding during in-situ consolidation of composites. A sensor which detects poorly bonding areas in the topmost ply was developed. This sensor consists of two piezoelectric transducers mounted in a 'pitch-catch' arrangement. Plate waves and Rayleigh surface waves were generated by orienting the pitch transducer at an angle. Received signals were analyzed for frequency shift, frequency filtering, attenuation and wave speed to develop a criteria for determining poorly bonded areas. Poorly bonded specimens were manufactured and evaluated by the proposed non destructive test method. After undergoing nondestructive evaluation, the specimens were mechanically loaded to failure and the bond strength recorded. Nondestructive test predictions of bond strength will be compared with mechanical tests of bonding. Data will be presented which demonstrate the poor bond identification criteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-91
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1996
EventNondestructive Evaluation for Process Control in Manufacturing - Scottsdale, AZ, United States
Duration: Dec 3 1996Dec 3 1996


  • Bond sensor
  • Fiber reinforced composite
  • Plate waves
  • Rayleigh waves


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