This paper addresses investigation of guided-wave excitation by angle-beam wedge piezoelectric (PZT) transducers in multilayered composite plate structure with orthotropic symmetry of the material. The aim of the present study is to determine the capability of such actuators to provide the controlled generation of an acoustic wave of a desirable type with the necessary wavelength, propagation distance and directivity. The studied CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic) panel is considered to be homogenous, with effective elastic moduli and anisotropic structural damping, whose parameters were determined experimentally. According to the results of dispersion analysis and taking into account the data of wave attenuation in a highly damping CFRP composite, the two types of propagating waves A0 and S0 were considered theoretically and experimentally in the frequency range of 10-100 kHz. Using the results of a previous study, we reconstructed the structure of the wedge actuator, to develop its finite-element (FE) model, and a modal analysis was carried out that revealed the most intense natural vibration modes and their eigenfrequencies within the frequency range used. Both experimental and numerical studies of the generation, propagation, directivity and attenuation of waves in the orthotropic composite panel under study revealed the influence of the angular orientation of the actuator on the formation of wave patterns and allowed to determine the capabilities of the wave's directivity control.
Keywords: Lamb waves; acoustic based SHM; angle-beam wedge transducer; horizontally polarized SH waves; orthotropic polymeric composites; waves directivity.