The use of controlled, localized stress waves in materials and bonded joints offers new opportunities for the characterization of structures. Bonded joints in particular benefit from this application because there is no nondestructive testing method to measure bond strength. Laser bond testing using a high peak power, short-pulse laser can perform a localized proof test of a bond. The method can be applied nondestructively to strong bonds but will fail a weak bond, creating an internal disbond detectable by the laser bond testing system itself or by post-test ultrasonic testing. To date, numerous tests have shown the method to be sensitive to weak bonds in carbon fiber reinforced polymer composite structural bonds created by poor adhesive mixing, improper surface preparation or contamination.
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