Composite materials are widely used in the industry, and the interest of this material is growing rapidly, due to its light weight, strength and various other desired mechanical properties. However, composite materials are prone to production defects and other defects originated during exploitation, which may jeopardize the safety of such a structure. Thus, non-destructive evaluation methods that are material-independent and suitable for a wide range of defects identification are needed. In this paper, a technique for damage characterization in composite plates is proposed. In the presented non-destructive testing method, guided waves are excited by a piezoelectric transducer, attached to tested specimens, and measured by a scanning laser Doppler vibrometer in a dense grid of points. By means of signal processing, irregularities in wavefield images caused by any material defects are extracted and used for damage characterization. The effectiveness of the proposed technique is validated on four different composite panels: Carbon fiber-reinforced polymer, glass fiber-reinforced polymer, composite reinforced by randomly-oriented short glass fibers and aluminum-honeycomb core sandwich composite. Obtained results confirm its versatility and efficacy in damage characterization in various types of composite plates.
Keywords: NDT; SLDV; damage detection; full wavefield processing; guided waves; laser vibrometry.