Non-destructive inspection of composite Radii using ultrasonic phased array techniques
Meghana Ashwin Kumar
Date of Issue2016-05-30
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing is an advanced Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) method with widespread applications across numerous industries. There is a major requisition for precise examination of composite materials in the Aerospace industry which needs skilled NDT Engineers. The ability of the engineer to detect and identify defects at areas which are not easily accessible and are complex in geometry is one of the most important skills that rely on the selection of transducers and testing strategy. In this project, a Glass Fibre Reinforced Plastic (GFRP) composite specimen with curvature is experimentally designed and manufactured with induced defects. These defects are introduced during the manufacturing of the specimen in order to carry out phased array inspection of the composite radii and to determine the sensitivity of the array probes in detecting small defects as well as to Ieam to identify the most efficient selection of probes for different applications. After the phased array inspection of the manufactured specimen, finite element analysis of the bent composite specimen under phased array ultrasonic inspection is carried out using Abaqus software suite. Abaqus is widely used in Aerospace as well as in many other industrial sectors. It is also intensely used in academic and research institutions mainly because of its capability to model and analyse a wide range of materials. Both the wedges utilized in the experimental setup and the test specimens are modelled and a high frequency wave is transmitted through them to illustrate the testing process conducted experimentally. It enables the analysis of the wave propagation in the composite when it is under ultrasonic inspection and also helps in visualization of wave interaction at the defect.