Detection of transverse cracking in a hybrid composite laminate using acoustic emission
MetadataShow full item record
Transverse cracking detection in a uniaxially-loaded symmetric cross-ply hybrid laminate containing 0◦ IM7/8552 carbon/epoxy and a very thin 90◦ S2/8552 glass/epoxy layer is studied using the acoustic emission (AE) technique. By conducting modal-based AE experiments and analysis, we investigate some parameters that can be used as the waveform signatures to identify transverse crack growth in the hybrid laminate. Wave dispersion relations of the hybrid laminate are established, and a comparison with those from a material homogenization model based on the equivalent stiffness is made. It is found that material homogenization is not accurate for predicting wave dispersion in the hybrid laminate. Wave dispersion for a homogeneous IM7/8552 unidirectional plate is also constructed. Cut-off frequencies belonging to various wave modes are discussed concerning their significance in interpreting AE signals. The wave attenuation behaviors that exist in the hybrid laminate and in the homogeneous IM7/8552 plate are compared and discussed using the finite element method (FEM). The use of singular elements dealing with the high strain gradient near the crack tip is addressed for convergence purposes. It is shown by the FEM results and demonstrated in the AE experiments that wave attenuation in the cross-ply hybrid laminate is much stronger than in the plain IM7/8552 plate. A simple calibration method for the AE sensors is discussed. Some important aspects in conducting an AE experiment, such as the sensor averaging effect and sensor frequency response range, are addressed. A new source location method based on the waveform’s first peak search and the associated primary frequency content is proposed. The accuracy of the source location method is verified by pencil-lead break experiments. The so-called symmetric energy fraction (SEF) of the AE signals in conjunction with the finite element analysis result in identification of the transverse cracking event. Lastly, a material failure kinetics-based characterization of the transverse cracking process is proposed in terms of the unloading forcing function on the transverse crack face. Finite element results based on this loading are compared to the AE signals.