Abstract

Composites are being increasingly used in various industries due to their lower cost and superior mechanical properties over traditional materials. They are nevertheless vulnerable to various defects during manufacturing or usage which can cause failure of critical engineering structures. Hence, there is a growing need for nondestructive evaluation (NDE) of composites to detect such defective structures and avoid significant loss and damages. Microwave NDE has several advantages over other existing NDE techniques for detecting defects or faults in non-conducting composites or dielectrics. One of the primary benefits of microwaves is large probe-standoff distances which allow for rapid scan times. However, the resolution of such far-field microwave sensors is diffraction limited. Metamaterial-based lens, also known as “superlens,” can achieve resolution beyond the diffraction limits due to its unique electromagnetic (EM) properties. This contribution focuses on the physical design of a metamaterial lens. The theory underlying the design of a metamaterial lens is presented followed by simulation and experimental results. This paper also investigates the feasibility of using the metamaterial lens for improving the resolution of microwave imaging in NDE of composites.

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