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Publication - Professor Robert Smith

    Phononic band gaps and phase singularities in the ultrasonic response from toughened composites


    Smith, RA, Nelson, LJ & Mienczakowski, MJ, 2018, ‘Phononic band gaps and phase singularities in the ultrasonic response from toughened composites’. in: 44th Annual Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation, Volume 37. American Institute of Physics (AIP)


    Ultrasonic 3D characterization of ply-level features in layered composites, such as out-of-plane wrinkles and ply drops, is now possible with carefully applied analytic-signal analysis. Study of instantaneous amplitude, phase and frequency in the ultrasonic response has revealed some interesting effects, which become more problematic for 3D characterization as the inter-ply resin-layer thicknesses increase. In modern particle-toughened laminates, the thicker resin layers cause phase singularities to be observed; these are locations where the instantaneous amplitude is zero, so the instantaneous phase is undefined. The depth at which these occur has been observed experimentally to vary with resin- layer thickness, such that a phase-singularity surface is formed; beyond this surface, the ultrasonic response is reduced and significantly more difficult to interpret, so a method for removing the effect would be advantageous. The underlying physics has been studied using an analytical one-dimensional multi-layer model. This has been sufficient to determine that the cause is linked to a phononic band gap in the ultrasound transmitted through multiple equally-spaced partial reflectors. As a result, the phase singularity also depends on input-pulse center frequency and bandwidth. Various methods for overcoming the confusing effects in the data have been proposed and subsequently investigated using the analytical model. This paper will show experimental and modelled evidence of phase-singularities and phase-singularity surfaces, as well as the success of methods for reducing their effects.

    Full details in the University publications repository