Anisotropic composite materials have been extensively utilized in mechanical, automotive, aerospace and other engineering areas due to high strength-to-weight ratio, superb corrosion resistance, and exceptional thermal performance. As the use of composite materials increases, determination of material properties, mechanical analysis and failure of the structure become important for the design of composite structure. In particular, the fatigue failure is important to ensure that structures can survive in harsh environmental conditions. Despite technical advances, fatigue failure and the monitoring and prediction of component life remain major problems. In general, cyclic loadings cause the accumulation of micro-damage in the structure and material properties degrade as the number of loading cycles increases. Repeated subfailure loading cycles cause eventual fatigue failure as the material strength and stiffness fall below the applied stress level. Hence, the stiffness degradation measurement can be a good indication for damage evaluation. The elastic characterization of composite material using mechanical testing, however, is complex, destructive, and not all the elastic constants can be determined. In this work, an in-situ method to non-destructively determine the elastic constants will be studied based on the time of flight measurement of ultrasonic waves. This method will be validated on an isotropic metal sheet and a transversely isotropic composite plate.

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