Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Development of a Fully Automated Guided Wave System for In-process Cure Monitoring of CFRP Composite Laminates

TYLER HUDSON, BRIAN GRIMSLEY and FUH-GWO YUAN

Abstract


A guided wave-based in-process cure monitoring technique for carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites was investigated at NASA Langley Research Center. A key cure transition point (vitrification) was identified and the degree of cure was monitored using metrics such as amplitude and time of arrival (TOA) of guided waves. Using an automated system preliminarily developed in this work, high-temperature piezoelectric transducers were utilized to interrogate a twenty-four ply unidirectional composite panel fabricated from Hexcel® IM7/8552 prepreg during cure. It was shown that the amplitude of the guided wave increased sharply around vitrification and the TOA curve possessed an inverse relationship with degree of cure. The work is a first step in demonstrating the feasibility of transitioning the technique to perform in-process cure monitoring in an autoclave, defect detection during cure, and ultimately a closed-loop process control to maximize composite part quality and consistency.

Full Text:

PDF