Non-contact ultrasound studies of composite materials: new developments

Chris Edwards, Theodosia Stratoudaki, Steve Dixon, Stuart Palmer

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Techniques are being developed worldwide for non-contact ultrasonic inspection of composite materials. These include laser generation and optical detection of ultrasound; both with interferometers and simpler beam deflection techniques, air coupled transducers are also used as generators and/or detectors of ultrasound. This paper compares the generation efficiency and damage thresholds of a range of different laser types: A fundamental Nd:YAG laser (1.06 μm), a TEA CO2 laser (10.6 μm normally preferred for carbon-fibre reinforced composites) and a Nd:YAG laser with an Optical Parametric Oscillator (OPO) tunable up to 4 μm. The laser energy is absorbed with the optical absorption depth, the temperature rise is affected by the wavelength and laser pulse duration. It is essential to remain in the thermoelastic regime in order not to damage the material. A modified Michelson interferometer is used to detect the absolute displacement of the ultrasound. Optical beam deflection techniques and air-coupled transducers are also evaluated as detectors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-275
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000
EventNondestructive Evaluation of Aging Materials and Composites IV - Newport Beach, CA, USA
Duration: 8 Mar 20009 Mar 2000


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