An efficient technique for the calculation of guided wave dispersion curves in composite pipes is presented. The technique uses a forward-calculating variational calculus approach rather than the guess and iterate process required when using the more traditional partial wave superposition technique. The formulation of each method is outlined and compared. The forward-calculating formulation is used to develop finite element software for dispersion curve calculation. Finally, the technique is used to calculate dispersion curves for several structures, including an isotropic bar, two multi-layer composite bars, and a composite pipe.

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