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Research Papers

Automated In-Process Cure Monitoring of Composite Laminates Using a Guided Wave-Based System With High-Temperature Piezoelectric Transducers

[+] Author and Article Information
Tyler B. Hudson

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

Fuh-Gwo Yuan

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

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received September 11, 2017; final manuscript received January 22, 2018; published online February 23, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Andrei Zagrai.

ASME J Nondestructive Evaluation 1(2), 021008 (Feb 23, 2018) (8 pages) Paper No: NDE-17-1088; doi: 10.1115/1.4039230 History: Received September 11, 2017; Revised January 22, 2018

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 wave 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.

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References

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Generalized time-temperature-transformation diagram for an epoxy resin under isothermal cure

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Fig. 2

Modeling flowchart for composite cure process simulation to compare with experimental guided wave-based measurements

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Fig. 3

An automated guided wave system for in-process cure monitoring

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Fig. 4

Automated algorithm for data collection and analysis of guided waves for in-process cure monitoring

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Fig. 5

Panel response (A0 dominant wave mode) at sensor 4 for five-cycle, Hanning windowed, sinusoidal toneburst actuation with center frequency 140 kHz at oven time 272 min

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Fig. 6

Three-dimensional surface (top) and contour (bottom) plot of guided waves for 140 kHz actuation at sensor 4 throughout the cure. A0 dominant wave mode in glassy state, which begins around an oven time of 170 min.

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Fig. 7

Three-dimensional surface (top) and contour (bottom) plot of guided waves for 300 kHz actuation at sensor 4 throughout the cure. S0 dominant wave mode in glassy state, which begins around an oven time of 170 min.

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Fig. 8

Part temperature (outside left axis) and resin viscosity (outside right axis) as predicted by Hexcel 8552® material model [21] using RAVEN composite process simulation software zero-dimensional analysis. Shaded regions correspond to the state of the composite throughout cure.

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Fig. 9

Part temperature (outside left axis), Tg (outside left axis), degree of cure (outside right axis), cure rate (inside right axis), and vitrification point (intersection between part temperature curve and Tg curve) as predicted by Hexcel 8552® material model [21] using RAVEN composite process simulation software zero-dimensional analysis. Shaded regions correspond to the state of the composite throughout cure.

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Fig. 10

Normalized peak voltages of the guided waves averaged from each of the 14 actuation frequencies and eight sensors measured throughout the cure cycle

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Fig. 11

Part temperature (outside left axis), average normalized peak voltage (inside left axis), and resin viscosity (outside right axis) shown during stages of cure in which the composite is in the liquid and rubbery states

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Fig. 12

Group velocity of the A0 wave mode for six excitation frequencies (120, 130, 140, 150, 175, and 200 kHz)

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Fig. 13

Three-dimensional surface (top) and contour plot (bottom) of guided waves for: (a) 140 kHz and (b) 300 kHz actuation at sensor 2 throughout cure, (c) part temperature and resin viscosity, (d) part temperature (outside left axis), Tg (outside left axis), degree of cure (outside right axis), cure rate (inside right axis), and vitrification point (intersection between part temperature curve and Tg curve) as predicted by Hexcel 8552® material model [21] using RAVEN, (e) average normalized peak voltages of the guided waves for the cure cycle without the B-stage hold, and (f) average normalized peak voltage and resin viscosity

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