Date of Award

5-1-2017

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Chu, Tsuchin

Abstract

In this research, through-transmission ultrasonic (TTU) Acoustography was applied to measure and quantify porosity levels in carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composite laminates. This study employed several CFRP specimens with wide ranges of porosity prepared by altering the curing pressure during the manufacturing process. The Acoustography method, operating at 5 MHz, was able to show contrast in ultrasonic images obtained for composite laminates with varied porosity levels. Porosity levels in composite laminates were quantified using destructive methods: acid digestion and microscopy. Also, strength analysis tests were conducted to investigate the effect porosity has on the laminate’s structural integrity. From the results obtained, it was demonstrated that the mechanical properties, interlaminar shear strength (ILSS), and flexural strength of CFRP decreased with the increasing void content. In addition, Acoustography absorption coefficient measurements were related to varied porosity levels in the composite laminates. As the porosity content increased within the laminates, the acoustic absorption coefficient increased. These findings are significant because Acoustography is being developed as a faster alternative to traditional ultrasonic inspection of composites and porosity is an important anomaly to quantify utilizing NDE methods.

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