Composite materials are supplanting conventional metals in aerospace, automotive, civil and marine industries in modern times. However, despite these advantageous properties, they are prone to delamination or matrix cracking. Thus, necessitating the early detection of the crack or flaw before it initiates into a serious defect. An offline approach was commonly used where in the parts examined away from service/operation. This not only consumed a lot of time but risked damage to the part during operation and handling. A detailed understanding of the various proven methods and techniques and their applicability in the analysis of vibration signatures obtained from damaged structures under dynamic conditions is essential to develop a reliable Structural Health Monitoring System (SHMS). This paper includes Vibration based damage detection testing on Carbon/Epoxy composite beams. Such composites are commonly used in the aerospace and marine industry. This material type is gaining acceptance not only in the aerospace industry but also in the automotive and construction industries. The paper reports the processing of the vibration signatures from healthy and damaged composite beams upon excitation and analysis of the mode shapes acquired. The study comprises of testing carbon/epoxy composite beams with various embedded delaminations with a mechanical actuator and a scanning laser vibrometer (SLV) as a sensor for recording the frequency response and analysing the acquired signatures based on Displacement and Curvature Mode Shapes.

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