Inspection of composite parts produced by additive manufacturing: Air-coupled ultrasound and thermography

Machado, MA, Inácio PL, Santos RA, Gomes AF, Martins AP, Carvalho MS, Santos TG.  2019.  Inspection of composite parts produced by additive manufacturing: Air-coupled ultrasound and thermography. 58th Annual Conference of the British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing, NDT 2019. , Telford, UK


Polymeric parts produced by Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) Additive Manufacturing (AM) has no special safety requirements, and therefore, NDT is not required. However, the use of AM to produce Fibre Reinforcement Thermoplastics (FRTP) parts means that structural applications with safety requirements are envisaged, demanding reliable NDT methods. This paper presents experimental results and numerical simulation by Finite Element Method (FEM) of the NDT inspection of different parts of polymeric and RFTP composite materials. The parts were produced by FDM Additive Manufacturing and different delamination defects were introduced at different positions and with different dimensions and morphologies. Two different NDT techniques were used, exploiting different inspection parameters: air-coupled ultrasound, using frequencies between 50 and 400 kHz and active transient thermography, in both reflection and transition modes. The influence of the curvature of the parts was analysed, from the experimental point of view, and the results were compared with different numerical simulation strategies. It was shown that, both NDT techniques can detect the defects, with good spatial resolution, being the thermography reflection mode the fastest and expedite for curvature parts. The numerical simulation corroborates the experimental results allowing a deeper insight on the physical phenomena involved.



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