Friday, July 10, 2015

Abstract-Moisture detection in composites by terahertz spectroscopy

Paweł Malinowski1, Norbert Pałka2, Szymon Opoka1, Tomasz Wandowski1 and Wiesław Ostachowicz1,3

The application of Glass Fibre Reinforced Polymers (GFRP) in many branches of industry has been increasing steadily. Many research works focus on damage identification for structures made out of such materials. However, not only delaminations, cracks or other damage can have a negative influence of GFRP parts performance. Previous research proved that fluid absorption influences the mechanical performance of composites. GFRP parts can be contaminated by moisture or release agent during manufacturing, while fuel, hydraulic fluid and moisture ingression into the composite can be the in-service treats. In the reported research authors focus on moisture detection. There are numerous sources of moisture such as post manufacturing NDT inspection with ultrasonics coupled by water or exposition to moisture during transportation and in service. An NDT tool used for the research is a terahertz (THz) spectrometer. The device uses an electromagnetic radiation in the terahertz range (0.1-3 THz) and allows for reflection and transmission measurements. The spectrometer is equipped with moving table that allows for XY scanning of large objects such as GFRP panels. In the conducted research refractive indices were experimentally extracted from the materials of interest (water and GFRP). Time signals as well as C-scans were analysed for samples with moisture contamination. In order to be sure that the observed effects are related to moisture contamination reference measurements were conducted. The obtained results showed that the THz NDT technique can detect moisture hidden under a GFRP with multiple layers.

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