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Proceedings Paper

Evaluation of modal-based damage detection techniques for composite aircraft sandwich structures
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Paper Abstract

Composite sandwich structures are important as structural components in modern lightweight aircraft, but are susceptible to catastrophic failure without obvious forewarning. Internal damage, such as disbonding between skin and core, is detrimental to the structures' strength and integrity and thus must be detected before reaching critical levels. However, highly directional low density cores, such as Nomex honeycomb, make the task of damage detection and health monitoring difficult. One possible method for detecting damage in composite sandwich structures, which seems to have received very little research attention, is analysis of global modal parameters. This study will investigate the viability of modal analysis techniques for detecting skin-core disbonds in carbon fiber-Nomex honeycomb sandwich panels through laboratory testing. A series of carbon fiber prepreg and Nomex honeycomb sandwich panels-representative of structural components used in lightweight composite airframes-were fabricated by means of autoclave co-cure. All panels were of equal dimensions and two were made with predetermined sizes of disbonded areas, created by substituting areas of Teflon release film in place of epoxy film adhesive during the cure. A laser vibrometer was used to capture frequency response functions (FRF) of all panels, and then real and imaginary FRFs at different locations on each plate and operating shapes for each plate were compared. Preliminary results suggest that vibration-based techniques hold promise for damage detection of composite sandwich structures.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 May 2005
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5767, Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring of Aerospace Materials, Composites, and Civil Infrastructure IV, (19 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.600414
Show Author Affiliations
J. A. Oliver, Univ. of California/San Diego (United States)
J. B. Kosmatka, Univ. of California/San Diego (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5767:
Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring of Aerospace Materials, Composites, and Civil Infrastructure IV
Peter J. Shull; Andrew L. Gyekenyesi; Aftab A. Mufti, Editor(s)

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