Journal Published Online: 10 March 2016
Volume 5, Issue 1

Explicit Finite Element Modelling as a Development Tool for New Ultrasound Testing Methodologies for Detection and Characterization of Porosity and Defects in Composites



Composite components frequently contain porosity or defects, which might, in some circumstances, be deemed benign. Other defects could lead to progressive or sudden failure in service; hence reliable and accurate material condition monitoring and health assessment is an important prerequisite for further design for the use of composite materials in high duty and life sensitive engineering components. The objective of this paper was to demonstrate the use of explicit finite element as an effective development tool in the development of ultrasound testing methodologies for the characterization of porosity in composites – a virtual ultrasound vibration laboratory. This would enable an improved inspection sentencing capability for as-manufactured composite structural components. It would also be of benefit in sentencing components subject to foreign object damage (FOD) in order to determine whether the component can continue in service, possibly with in-service monitoring or cosmetic repair, or must be condemned. In this work, finite element models simulating damage and porosity were presented. The models were compared with ultrasound tests on real specimens with practically relevant defects. Experimental tests, making use of wave superposition from two piezo-electric vibration sources, were shown to detect energy absorbing damage in the specimen, such as might have been created by impact or crush loads. The same piezo-electric vibration system was also used to measure the dissipated energy. Computational analysis, using simple material model variations, was able to replicate the Lamb wave generation and evolve a wave form resembling a “standing wave.” The computational material model was modified to represent porosity in composites.

Author Information

McMillan, A.
Computational Mechanics, Manufacturing Simulation, Design and Optimisation (CoMManDO) Research Group, Applied Science, Computing and Engineering Division, Glyndwr Univ., Wrexham, UK
Holeczek, K.
Institute of Lightweight Engineering and Polymer Technology (ILK), Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, DE
Pages: 21
Price: $25.00
Reprints and Permissions
Reprints and copyright permissions can be requested through the
Copyright Clearance Center
Stock #: MPC20150047
ISSN: 2165-3992
DOI: 10.1520/MPC20150047