Experimental Assessment of a Modal-Based Multi-Parameter Method for Locating Damage in Composite Laminates
Ribeiro, A. M. R.
Duarte-Silva, J. A. B.
The low specific weight of composite materials, together with their excellent mechanical properties, make them suitable to be widely used in many modern engineering structures. However, composite materials are quite sensitive to impacts: a specific kind of damage, called Barely Visible Impact Damage (BVID), may occur, constituting an unsafe failure of difficult assessment. In the past few years several methods have been developed aiming at assessing this type of damage. In this paper, a vibration-based technique that combines both the natural frequencies and the modal damping factors as damage sensitive features is tested for locating impact damage in carbon fibre reinforced laminates. The method is intended to be used for locating damage in real laminated composite structures that undergo in-service impacts, such as an airplane's fuselage or wings. Assessing a minimum of one response coordinate is the strict requirement during each inspection, because it uses the dynamic global parameters of the structure as damage features. This is possible because the method assumes that, at least for BVID, the mode shapes remain practically unchanged. The theory is summarized and the method is tested using experimental setups where damage is introduced at different locations. Additionally, the hypothesis that different damage morphologies on composite materials have different contributions to the damage features is addressed.