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Publication - Professor Robert Smith

    Wrinkle measurement in glass-carbon hybrid laminates comparing ultrasonic techniques

    A case study

    Citation

    Larrañaga-Valsero, B, Smith, RA, Tayong, RB, Fernández-López, A & Güemes, A, 2018, ‘Wrinkle measurement in glass-carbon hybrid laminates comparing ultrasonic techniques: A case study’. Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, vol 114., pp. 225-240

    Abstract

    Wrinkles, (also known as out-of-plane waviness) are, unfortunately, a common phenomenon that has caused some wind-turbine blades to unexpectedly fail in service. Being able to detect the wrinkles while in the factory will reduce the risk of catastrophic failure and characterising the wrinkles would minimise the repaired area, thus increasing the efficiency of the repair and the design. This work compares the effectiveness of three different ultrasound techniques for detecting and characterising out-of-plane wrinkles in the typical glass-carbon hybrid laminates that are used for wind-turbine blades. The tests samples were manufactured so that the laminates and the defects are representative of those used in the wind-turbine industry. Basic mechanical tests were performed to check the drop in mechanical properties due to wrinkling. The ideal probe frequency was determined as the resonance frequency of the plies using an analytical ultrasonic-propagation model. The three different ultrasound techniques used are: full-matrix capture (FMC) with the total focusing method (TFM), a commercial phased-array instrument and an immersion test with a raster-scanned single-element focused probe. When possible, severity parameters of the wrinkle were measured on the ultrasonic images and compared with the measurements of the actual sample in order to determine which method best characterises such wrinkles and which would be more appropriate to implement in an industrial environment. Not all of the techniques allowed full characterisation of out-of-plane waviness on the specimens. The FMC/TFM method gave better results whilst phased-array technology and single-element immersion testing presented more challenges. An additional enhancement to the TFM imaging was achieved using an Adapted-TFM method with an angle-dependent velocity correction.

    Full details in the University publications repository