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Audible acoustics for detecting and locating damage in composite structures

Pearson, Matthew ORCID:, Pullin, Rhys ORCID: and Szigeti, Eszter 2018. Audible acoustics for detecting and locating damage in composite structures. Presented at: 9th European Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring (EWSHM 2018), Manchester, U.K., 10-13 July 2018. 9th European Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring (EWSHM 2018).

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Carbon fibre composites are increasingly being used for large scale load bearing structures in a variety of industries, which include aerospace and renewable energy sectors. The main benefit of composite structures over traditional metallic equivalents is the inherent strength to weight ratio. This allows for the development of more optimised and efficient structures. However, the development of these large-scale composite structures can be very costly and time-consuming exercise. As a part of the development process extensive verification testing is undertaken which can range from small-scale coupon and full scale structural tests. Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) techniques are often employed to detect the early onset of damage and avoid catastrophic failures. This requires periodic test down time to gain access to the structure to undertake these inspections. Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) techniques can be employed but these often require sensors coupled to the structure and vast amounts of cabling which can be time consuming to install. Audible Acoustics (AA) uses an array of microphones to audible detect the sound signatures from damage initiation and growth in composite materials and could potential be used as a non-contact NDT technique, creating a quick and easy to setup damage detection system. Therefore, offering a reduction in testing downtime, avoiding unexpected failures and enabling the re-use of specimens, which will ultimately reduce time and costs. This paper explores the use of an Acoustic Camera to detect and located damage in carbon fibre coupon specimens with different lay-ups. An acoustic camera is an array of microphones which can be used to visualise the location of a sound source. Results showed using delay and sum beam forming it was possible locate damage in the structures. Further frequency analysis and traditional NDT translated signal processing techniques were used to enhance the detection of damage.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 September 2019
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2022 07:35

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