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Ultrasonic NDE Simulation for Composite Manufacturing Defects



The increased use of composites in aerospace components is expected to continue into the future. The large scale use of composites in aerospace necessitates the development of composite-appropriate nondestructive evaluation (NDE) methods to quantitatively characterize defects in as-manufactured parts and damage incurred during or post manufacturing. Ultrasonic techniques are one of the most common approaches for defect/damage detection in composite materials. One key technical challenge area included in NASA’s Advanced Composite’s Project is to develop optimized rapid inspection methods for composite materials. Common manufacturing defects in carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites include fiber waviness (in-plane and out-of-plane), porosity, and disbonds; among others. This paper is an overview of ongoing work to develop ultrasonic wavefield based methods for characterizing manufacturing waviness defects. The paper describes the development and implementation of a custom ultrasound simulation tool that is used to model ultrasonic wave interaction with in-plane fiber waviness (also known as marcelling). Wavefield data processing methods are applied to the simulation data to explore possible routes for quantitative defect characterization.

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