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Tracing Defects in Glass Fiber/Polypropylene Composites Using Ultrasonic C-Scan and X-Ray Computed Tomography Methods

The presented work concerns identifying various defects in glass fiber/polypropylene (glass/PP) composites parts. Comprehensive comparison between two Non Destructive Evaluation (NDE) techniques, namely X-ray Computed Tomography (X-CT) and ultrasonic C-scan techniques are presented. Artificial defects of different shapes, sizes, and materials were embedded in a glass/PP panel comprising of eighty (80) layers to assess the capabilities of NDE systems and to compare the detection sensitivities. The X-CT technique provided a volumetric map through the thickness of the specimen, which resulted in detecting the size and the shape of the defects. Fiber orientation and misalignment were successfully identified using this technique. However, the X-CT technique was not able to identify objects with relatively close material densities. Similarly, ultrasonic pulse-echo C-scan could not map all the embedded artificial defects. However, the through transmission Ultra Sonic (UT) technique showed the capability to identify the location and shape of the defects in glass fiber reinforced thermoplastic composite. The defects size was overestimated by the through transmission technique and fiber related defects could not be detected. The ultrasonic techniques effectively detected delaminations and porosity, while X-CT was not effective in detecting these.

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