Nonlinear elastic multi-path reciprocal method for damage localisation in composite materials

Salvatore Boccardi, Daniele Benito Calla, Francesco Ciampa, Michele Meo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (SciVal)
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Nonlinear ultrasonic techniques rely on the measurement of nonlinear elastic effects caused by the interaction of ultrasonic waves with the material damage, and have shown high sensitivity to detect micro-cracks and defects in the early stages. This paper presents a nonlinear ultrasonic technique, here named nonlinear elastic multi-path reciprocal method, for the identification and localisation of micro-damage in composite laminates. In the proposed methodology, a sparse array of surface bonded ultrasonic transducers is used to measure the second harmonic elastic response associated with the material flaw. A reciprocal relationship of nonlinear elastic parameters evaluated from multiple transmitter-receiver pairs is then applied to locate the micro-damage. Experimental results on a damaged composite panel revealed that an accurate damage localisation was obtained using the normalised second order nonlinear parameter with a high signal-to-noise-ratio (∼11.2 dB), whilst the use of bicoherence coefficient provided high localisation accuracy with a lower signal-to-noise-ratio (∼1.8 dB). The maximum error between the calculated and the real damage location was nearly 13 mm. Unlike traditional linear ultrasonic techniques, the proposed nonlinear elastic multi-path reciprocal method allows detecting material damage on composite materials without a priori knowledge of the ultrasonic wave velocity nor a baseline with the undamaged component.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-245
Number of pages7
Early online date5 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Composite materials
  • Nonlinear damage localization
  • Structural health monitoring (SHM)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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