Schedule based NDT and structural health monitoring of safety critical composite structures

Gabriela Petculescu*, Jan Drewes Achenbach

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

1 Scopus citations


Composite materials, particularly graphite/epoxy laminates, are becoming the materials of choice for major load carrying structures such as the fuselage and wings of commercial airliners. Even though this development has been anticipated for years by workers in the field of quantitative nondestructive testing, it has become apparent that extensive efforts in the areas of diagnostics and prognostics are required, both for conventional schedule based testing and for structural health monitoring systems. We discuss some general aspects of ultrasonic techniques toward these goals, particularly with regard to the generation and reception of lamb waves by polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) transducers. We briefly discuss a technique to improve the amplitude measurement of ultrasonic signals by the elimination of couplant effects. For the general area of structural health monitoring, we identify technical challenges that must be dealt with. A brief discussion of fatigue in composites and some experimental and analytical results for the detection and sizing of impact induced discontinuities are also given.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages9
Specialist publicationMaterials Evaluation
StatePublished - Jul 1 2007


  • Composite materials
  • Discontinuities
  • Lamb waves
  • Nondestructive testing
  • Schedule based NDT
  • Structural health monitoring
  • Ultrasonic NDT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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