Article Article
Fast Ultrasonic Imaging with Total Focusing Method (TFM) for Inspection of Additively Manufactured Polymer Composite Component

Ultrasonic adaptive imaging based on the phased-array technology and the synthetic focusing algorithm Total Focusing Method (TFM) is proposed for fast ultrasonic nondestructive evaluation of additively manufactured composite materials. Nondestructive evaluation and inspection of additively manufactured parts and components are necessary for quality assurance of the materials. Effective detection of defects and anomalies in manufactured parts prevents extra cost and production time. However, there are several limitations encountered when using conventional methods of nondestructive inspection for as built additively manufactured parts due to surface conditions and geometrical complexity. Post-processing operations, such as machining, are usually needed to detect possible defects such as layer disband, micro-cracks, and voids in the composite parts. The capability of aperture focusing in phased array ultrasonic methods provides the opportunity for the adjustment of the delay laws in ultrasonic beams and reduces the noise and beam distortion for better imaging. An additively manufactured carbon fiber reinforced Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) composite sample with artificial side and bottom-drilled holes of different sizes, used to represent defects, was successfully inspected using the Total Focusing Method (TFM). Unlike conventional ultrasonic techniques, results show a promising way to provide inspection of as built additively manufactured composite parts with rough surface finishes. The proposed method helps to decrease inspection time and eliminate extra machining and preparation costs.


  • ASTM Int., F2792-12a –Standard Terminology for Additive Manufacturing Technologies. 2013.
  • A. A. Hassen and M. M. Kirka, “Additive Manufacturing: The Rise of a Technology and the Need for Quality Control and Inspection Techniques,” Mater. Eval., vol. 76, no. 4, pp. 438–453, 2018.
  • A. A. Hassen, J. Lindahl, X. Chen, B. Post, L. Love, and V. Kunc, “Additive Manufacturing of Composite Tooling Using High Temperature Thermoplastic Materials,” in SAMPE Conference, 2016.
  • A. A. Hassen, R. Springfield, J. Lindah, B. K. Post, L. J. Love, C. Duty, U. Vaidya, R. P. Byron, and V. Kunc, “The Durability of Large-Scale Additive Manufacturing Composite Molds,” in CAMX 2016, 2016.
  • L. Koester, H. Taheri, L. J. Bond, D. Barnard, and J. Gray, “Additive manufacturing metrology: State of the art and needs assessment,” in AIP Conf. Proc. 1706, 2016, p. 130001.
  • H. Taheri, M. R. M. Shoaib, L. W. Koester, T. A. Bigelow, P. C. Collins, and L. J. Bond, “Powder based additive manufacturing- A review of types of defects, generation mechanisms, detection, property evaluation and metrology,” Int. J. Addit. Subtractive Mater. Manuf., vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 172–209, 2017.
  • ASTM Int., ASTM F3112-14, Standard Guide for Evaluating Mechanical Properties of Metal Materials made via Additive Manufacturing Processes, F42.01, Ed. West Conshohocken, PA, 2014.
  • ASTM Int., ASTM F3091/F3091M-14, Standard Specification for Powder Bed Fusion of Plastic Materials, F42.05, Ed. West Conshohocken, PA, 2014.
  • H. Taheri, “Classification of Nondestructive Inspection Techniques with P rincipal Component Analysis (PCA) for Aerospace Application,” in ASNT 26th Research Symposium, 2017, pp. 219–227.
  • A. A. Hassen, H. Taheri, and U. K. Vaidya, “Non-destructive investigation of thermoplastic reinforced composites,” Compos. Part B Eng., vol. 97, pp. 244–254, 2016.
  • M. Mosayebi, S. F. Karimian, and T. P. Chu, “NDT Using Digital Laser Speckle Image Correlation (DiLSIC),” in ASNT 26th Research Symposium, 2017, pp. 185–193.
  • S. Li, A. Poudel, and T. P. Chu, “Ultrasonic Defect Mapping Using Signal Cor relation for Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE),” Res. Nondestruct. Eval., vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 90–106, 2015.
  • A. Poudel, K. R. Mitchell, T. P. Chu, S. Neidigk, and C. Jacques, “Non-destructive evaluation of composite repairs by using infrared thermography,” J. Compos. Mater., vol. 50, no. 3, pp. 351–363, 2016.
  • H. Taheri, “Utilization of non-destructive testing (NDT) methods for composite material inspection (phased array ultrasonic),” South Dakota State University, MSc Thesis, 2014.
  • H. Taheri, K. M. Ladd, F. Delfanian, and J. Du, “Phased array ultrasonic technique parametric evaluation for composite materials,” in ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE), 2014, vol. 13, p. V013T16A028; 7 pages.
  • H. Taheri, F. Delfanian, and J. Du, “Acoustic Emission and Ultrasound Phased Array Technique for Composite Material Evaluation,” in ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE) Volume 1: Advances in Aerodynamics, 2013, vol. 1, p. V001T01A015; 8 pages.
  • H. Taheri, J. Du, and F. Delfanian, “Experimental Observation of Phased Array Guided Wave Application in Composite Materials,” Mater. Eval., vol. 75, no. 10, pp. 1308–1316, 2017.
  • A. N. Dickson, J. N. Barry, K. A. McDonnell, and D. P. Dowling, “Fabrication of continuous carbon, glass and Kevlar fibre reinforced polymer composites using additive manufacturing,” Addit. Manuf., vol. 16, pp. 146–152, 2017.
  • C. J. L. Lane, “The inspection of curved components using flexible ultrasonic arrays and shape sensing fibres,” Case Stud. Nondestruct. Test. Eval., vol. 1, pp. 13–18, 2014.
  • A. Leleux, P. Micheau, and M. Castaings, “Long range detection of defects in composite plates using lamb waves generated and detected by ultrasonic phased array probes,” J. Nondestruct. Eval., vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 200–214, 2013.
  • L. Le Jeune, S. Robert, P. Dumas, A. Membre, and C. Prada, “Adaptive Ultrasonic Imaging with the Total Focusing Method for Inspection of Complex Components Immersed in Water,” in AIP Conference Proceedings, 2015, vol. 1037, no. 10, pp. 1037–1046.
Usage Shares
Total Views
608 Page Views
Total Shares
0 Tweets
0 PDF Downloads
0 Facebook Shares
Total Usage