Planar capacitive imaging for composite delamination damage characterization
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Planar capacitive imaging for composite delamination damage characterization


Abstract The objective of this study is to develop and validate a noncontact, nondestructive inspection and imaging method for rapidly assessing the subsurface condition of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) composite structures. The method works on the principle of planar electrical capacitance tomography (ECT). Unlike conventional ECT systems, electrodes are arranged on a rectangular planar surface in the form of a grid. The volume on one side of the electrode plane is interrogated with an electric field, and the mutual capacitances between the electrodes are measured. The volumetric electrical permittivity distribution of the interrogated region is then reconstructed from the measured capacitance responses. In this work, an ECT image reconstruction algorithm was implemented, and a customized planar capacitive imaging system was prototyped. First, different objects were placed near the electrode array, and the corresponding volumetric change in electrical permittivity was successfully captured. Second, the planar ECT system was employed for detecting artificially introduced subsurface defects in 3D-printed objects. Third, CFRP specimens with different sizes of single-layer delamination were fabricated and subjected to ECT interrogation. The results confirmed that the planar ECT system could detect the location and size of delamination in CFRP panels. The accuracy and resolution of the planar ECT prototype were also characterized.

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