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Numerical Simulation of Induction Thermography on a Laminated Composite Panel



A three-dimensional finite element model was developed for simulating induction heating of a composite panel using the COMSOL multiphysics software, version 5.1. Equivalent anisotropic material thermal and electrical conductivities of the composite panel were used in the simulation. The model was validated using experimental temperatures obtained from an infrared camera. Good agreement was obtained between the experimental and numerical results for a pristine panel and a specific flawed panel. Then, this methodology was used to simulate the induction heating of a panel within different flaw scenarios. The correlation between the flaw scenario and temperature distribution was investigated. Flaws led to high gradients in the temperature distributions. The numerical results suggest that temperature variation on the panel coil side (outer) surface could be used to detect some types of flaws. In addition, due to low thermal conductivity, the induction heating period should be carefully controlled to avoid potential material degradation caused by overheating when using this thermography inspection technique.

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