Detection and Modelling of Nonlinear Elastic Response in Damaged Composite Structures

F. Ciampa, E. Onder, E. Barbieri, M. Meo

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In this paper the nonlinear material response of damaged composite structures under periodic excitation is experimentally and numerically investigated. In particular, the nonlinear wave propagation problem was numerically analysed through a finite element model able to predict the nonlinear interaction of acoustic/ultrasonic waves with damage precursors and micro-cracks. Such a constitutive model is based on the Landau’s semi-analytical approach to account for anharmonic effects of the medium, and is able to provide an understanding of nonlinear elastic phenomena such as the second harmonic generation. Moreover, Kelvin tensorial formulation was used to extend the wave propagation problem in orthotropic materials to the 3D Cartesian space. In this manner, the interaction of the stress waves with the 3D crack could be analysed. This numerical model was then experimentally validated on a composite plate undergone to impact loading. Good agreement between the experimental and numerical second harmonic response was found, showing that this material model can be used as a simple and useful tool for future structural diagnostic applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-521
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nondestructive Evaluation
Issue number4
Early online date3 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


  • Finite element method
  • Multiscale modelling
  • Nondestructive evaluation techniques
  • Nonlinear ultrasound


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