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Publication Detail
Stiffener bond line monitoring using ultrasonic shear guided waves
Abstract
Adhesively bonded stiffeners are employed in aerospace applications to increase structural stiffness. The potential of shear guided wave modes for the verification of adhesion and bond line thickness in difficult to access regions has been investigated. The properties of guided wave modes propagating along a T-shaped stiffener bonded to an aluminium plate were calculated using the Semi-Analytical Finite Element (SAFE) method. Shear modes were identified as well suited with energy concentrated at the stiffener and bond line, limiting energy radiation into the plate and thus achieving increased inspection length. The influence of bond line properties and thickness was investigated from SAFE and 3D Finite Element calculations and a significant influence of the epoxy shear (Coulomb) modulus on the phase velocity found. Experiments were conducted during the curing of an epoxy adhesive, bonding a stiffener to the plate with bond strength and stiffness increasing over time. The excited shear mode was measured using a laser interferometer. The measured phase velocity changed significantly during curing. The frequency dependency matches well with the SAFE calculations for a variation of the Coulomb's modulus of the adhesive layer. The potential of the shear guided wave mode for bond line inspection and monitoring has been shown. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.
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Dept of Mechanical Engineering
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