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Quality control methods are insufficient for assuring defect-free composite materials, which are manufactured at the time of part fabrication. Nondestructive evaluation (NDE) techniques appear, potentially, to offer a means of identifying such defects. The techniques of ultrasonic C-scanning, X-ray radiography, vibrother-mography, and acoustic emission monitoring are considered here. The materials of interest are E-glass and S-2 glass reinforced sheet molding compound. Results from ultrasonic C-scans clearly indicate areas of imperfections. Results of the vibrother-mography and acoustic emission monitoring, however, suggest the need for additional work in these areas, while those of X-ray radiography are inconclusive.
nondestructive evaluation, ultrasonic C-scan, X-ray radiography, vibrothermography, acoustic emission, composite materials, sheet molding compound
Assistant Professor, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.