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research-article

Automated in-process cure monitoring of composite laminates using a guided wave-based system with high temperature piezoelectric transducers

[+] Author and Article Information
Tyler Hudson

North Carolina State University, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 911 Oval Drive - 3306 EBIII, Campus Box 7910, Raleigh, NC 27695; National Institute of Aerospace, 100 Exploration Way, Hampton, VA 23666
tyler.b.hudson@nasa.gov

Fuh-Gwo Yuan

North Carolina State University, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 911 Oval Drive - 3306 EBIII, Campus Box 7910, Raleigh, NC 27695; National Institute of Aerospace, 100 Exploration Way, Hampton, VA 23666
yuan@ncsu.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4039230 History: Received September 11, 2017; Revised January 22, 2018

Abstract

An in-process cure monitoring technique based on "guided wave" concept for carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites was developed. Key parameters including physical properties (viscosity and degree of cure) and state transitions (gelation and vitrification) during the cure cycle were clearly identified experimentally from the amplitude and group velocity of guided waves, validated via the semi-empirical cure process modeling software RAVEN®. Using the newly developed cure monitoring system, an array of high-temperature piezoelectric transducers acting as an actuator and sensors were employed to excite and sense guided waves signals, in terms of voltage, through unidirectional composite panels fabricated from Hexcel® IM7/8552 prepreg during cure in an oven. Average normalized peak voltage, which pertains to the wave amplitude, was selected as a metric to describe the guided waves phenomena throughout the entire cure cycle. During the transition from rubbery to glassy state, the group velocity of the guided waves was investigated for connection with degree of cure, Tg, and mechanical properties. This work demonstrated the feasibility of in-process cure monitoring and continued progress toward a closed-loop process control to maximize composite part quality and consistency.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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