Damage Detection in Sandwich Composite Materials

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Stiffened laminate and sandwich composite materials used in military aircraft, helicopter blades, etc., consist of multiple layers that may exhibit subsurface damage mechanisms, such as disbonds, ply cracking, core crushing, and core cracking, which usually cannot be identified using visual inspections. It is also difficult to inspect composite structures, such as blades and fuselage sections, using localized methods, e.g., coin tap, ultrasonic, thermographic, impedance, unless these structural components are first removed from the structure. Furthermore, these localized methods can detect damage within approximately 1/8 inch from the surface, but do not penetrate into deep composite laminate or sandwich sections.

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a component inspection method that can locate subsurface damage in sandwich composite materials. Damage detection is achieved with a three-dimensional laser vibrometer that collects forced frequency response data on a component that is being excited by a piezoelectric actuator. Using this data, damage can be reliably detected throughout a component without having to remove it from its structure.

Advantages:
-Inspect component without removing it from structure
-Detects damage throughout entire component

Potential Applications:
-Manufacturing
-Machining
-Damage analysis
Sep 2, 2011
Utility Patent
United States
8,656,779
Feb 25, 2014

Mar 5, 2010
PCT-Patent
WO
(None)
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Mar 5, 2010
NATL-Patent
European Patent
(None)
(None)

Mar 6, 2009
Provisional-Patent
United States
(None)
(None)

Mar 5, 2009
Provisional-Patent
United States
(None)
(None)
Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization
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West Lafayette, IN 47906

Phone: (765) 588-3475
Fax: (765) 463-3486
Email: otcip@prf.org