Guided ultrasonic waves (GUW) have the potential to be an efficient and cost-effective method for rapid damage detection and quantification of large structures. Attractive features include sensitivity to a variety of damage types and the capability of traveling relatively long distances. They have proven to be an efficient approach for crack detection and localization in isotropic materials. However, techniques must be pushed beyond isotropic materials in order to be valid for composite aircraft components.
This paper presents our study on GUW propagation and interaction with delamination damage in composite structures using wavenumber array data processing, together with advanced wave propagation simulations. Parallel elastodynamic finite integration technique (EFIT) is used for the example simulations. Multi-dimensional Fourier transform is used to convert time-space wavefield data into frequency-wavenumber domain. Wave propagation in the wavenumber-frequency domain shows clear distinction among the guided wave modes that are present. This allows for extracting a guided wave mode through filtering and reconstruction techniques. Presence of delamination causes spectral change accordingly. Results from 3D CFRP guided wave simulations with delamination damage in flat-plate specimens are used for wave interaction with structural defect study.