Detecting low velocity impact damage in composite plate using nonlinear acoustic methods

Umberto Polimeno, Michele Meo, Darryl Almond, Stefano Angioni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (SciVal)


The objective of this work was to image the presence of impact damage by monitoring the nonlinear response of damaged carbon/epoxy composite samples. The presence of microcracks, debonding, delamination, etcaEuro broken vertical bar induce the material to behave in a nonlinear elastic fashion highlighted by the presence and amplitude of harmonics in the spectrum of the received signal when the sample is periodically excited at one of its resonance frequencies. The sensitivity of a second harmonic imaging technique (SEHIT) based on material nonlinear elastic effect known as second harmonic generation (SHG) was investigated. The proposed imaging process was used to detect barely visible impact damage (BVID) due to low velocity impact (< 12 J). The results showed that the SEHIT methods appear to be highly accurate in assessing the presence and magnitude of damage with a very promising future for both NDT and possibly structural health monitoring (SHM) applications. Moreover the technique was validated with two conventional NDT techniques: pulse thermography and thermosonics. The first NDT method failed in detecting the damage on the impacted face. The second technique was capable of localising and quantifying the damage on the impacted surface agreeing well with the results obtained using the proposed nonlinear imaging method.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-488
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Composite Materials
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010
Event7th International Conference on Composite Science and Technology - Sharjah, UAE United Arab Emirates
Duration: 20 Jan 200922 Jan 2009


  • Barely visible impact damage
  • Imaging technique
  • Non linear elastic material


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