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Ultrasonic air-coupled testing of square-shape CFRP composite rods

Lithuania Flag
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Vehicle design and manufacturing (VDM)
Transport mode
Airborne icon
Transport policies
Transport sectors
Passenger transport


Background & Policy context

In aerospace industry, one of the most important parts of gliders and motor-gliders is a lightweight longeron reinforcement made of carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) rods, known as Graphlite SM315 composite. During manufacturing, the rods as constructional elements are glued together in epoxy-filled matrix in order to build the arbitrary spar profile. The defects present in single rods such as breakage of fibres, multiple delaminations due to the lack of bonding between fibres and reduction in density affect essentially the strength and the fail-safety of the overall construction.


The aim of the present work was to investigate the effects (transmission, reflection, scattering and mode conversion) of guided waves propagation along a square-shape CFRP rod in the case of contactless excitation/reception and interaction with region of multiple delaminations applying the numerical model and performing experiments.


The square-shape CFRP composite rods possessing internal artificial delamination type defects have been investigated by numerical modelling and experiments employing the developed air-coupled technique (pitch-catch set-up) for cases of conventional transmission and advanced back-scattering configurations. Numerical predictions of guided wave interaction with a multiple delamination type defect in a CFRP composite rod have been made and the interaction mechanism explained. It is possible to conclude, that the actual sizes of the internal defects have been clearly detected using reception of the back-scattered waves over the edges of the defective regions only. It has been demonstrated that the length of the defective zones could be estimated with uncertainty of several millimetres applying the back-scattering technique.



Funding Source
National / International


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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