Article Article
Ultrasonic Evaluation of Porosity in Out-of-Autoclave Carbon Fiber–Reinforced Polymer Composite Material

Ultrasonic longitudinal wave propagation is studied in out-of-autoclave (OoA) carbon fiber–reinforced polymer composite material with varying levels of porosity contents. A combination of cure pressures and a solvent is used to produce specimens with void contents in the range of 0% to 22%. Ultrasonic measurements are made in through-transmission mode, and the data is processed to study various aspects of wave interaction with porosity in OoA specimens. The specimens with a wide range of void contents have enabled the study of broader trends of ultrasonic center frequency, wave velocity, and attenuation with respect to porosity. Results show ultrasonic center frequency and wave velocity are decreased linearly as the void content increases. The relationship of ultrasonic wave attenuation can be approximated by a logarithmic relationship when considering the full range of void content studied. Strength measurements of specimens with varying void contents are made using the flatwise tensile (FWT) test. It is observed that the strength rapidly decreases with increasing porosity. Correlations made between FWT strength, ultrasonic wave velocity, and attenuation are best described by logarithmic relationships. The data shows a potential for inferring strength knockdowns due to the presence of porosity based on ultrasonic measurements.



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