Ultrasonic detection and characterization of delamination and rich resin in thick composites with waviness

Zhen Zhang, Shifeng Guo, Qian Li, Fangsen Cui, Andrew Alexander Malcolm, Zhongqing Su, Menglong Liu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


A multi-frequency ultrasonic method was proposed to detect and characterize delamination and rich resin in thick composites with waviness. Addressing the challenges for ultrasonic inspection caused by waviness, multi-layer structure, and multiple defect types, ultrasound propagation in thick wavy composite was investigated through a dedicated numerical model built in OnScale®. Key features of ultrasonic testing and composite sample, including water immersion environment, fiber waviness, uneven inter-ply resin distribution, and side-drilled hole (SDH)-simulated delamination, were embraced in the model. Via this model, waviness and thick resin layers were found to cause disturbance and wave vector deviation to inter-ply reflection signal and thus introduce difficulties for delamination detection based just on the signal to noise ratio. In addition, reflections from inter-ply resin and SDH were revealed with different reliance on probe frequencies. Using a 5 MHz probe with time corrected gain, ultrasonic testing in wavy composite was performed experimentally. Based on the reliance of defect characterization on frequency, SDHs and rich resin were differentiated experimentally in the B-scan images with various filtering frequencies, demonstrating the effectiveness of the proposed method for detection and characterization of delamination and rich resin in thick wavy composite structures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108016
JournalComposites Science and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2020


  • Composite
  • Delamination
  • Nondestructive evaluation
  • Out-of-plane waviness
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Engineering(all)

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