A nondestructive detection of damage in composite laminates by using modal analysis is investigated in this paper. Continued fiber-reinforced composite AS4/PEEK was used to fabricate a symmetrical laminate plate and a surface crack was created in one side of the laminate plate. The results of modal testing are presented for the application of modal analysis to the laminate plate before and after damage. Changes in mode shapes, mode shape slopes and strain energies were used to calculate the damage index for indicating the damage location. Differential quadrature method (DQM) was introduced to solve the problem of partial derivatives function in strain energy formula. A 3-D finite element model was created for comparison with the experimental results. The model accurately predicted the dynamic responses. It was found that damage index using strain energy method provides a more promising result than other methods in locating the damage.

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