Application of Active Microwave Thermography to Inspection of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Composites


Inspection of carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites is very important in the aeronautical and transportation industries. Many nondestructive testing (NDT) techniques have been applied for health monitoring including ultrasound, thermography, etc. Although thermography has been widely used for this purpose, it often requires powerful heat lamps which may increase the risk of (thermal) damage to the structure under test. Thus, hybrid NDT methods have also been developed. Recently, the integration of microwave heating and thermography, herein referred to as Active Microwave Thermography (AMT), has also been considered as a potential health monitoring tool for infrastructure. This hybrid method uses microwave energy to heat a structure of interest, and subsequently the thermal surface profile is measured using a thermal camera. This paper investigates the potential of AMT for inspection of CFRP-rehabilitated airframes. Preliminary simulations and measurements indicate that AMT has the potential to detect disbonds under carbon fiber patches bonded to aluminum.

Meeting Name

50th IEEE AUTOTEST (2014: Sep. 15-18, St. Louis, MO)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics; Fibers; Health Risks; Inspection; Microwave Heating; Microwaves; Reinforced Plastics; Reinforcement; Structural Health Monitoring; Thermography (Imaging); Thermography (Temperature Measurement); Ultrasonic Applications; Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composite; Disbond; Heat Diffusions; Microwave Non-Destructive Testing; Simulations And Measurements; Transportation Industry; Nondestructive Examination; Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer; Microwave Nondestructive Testing; Thermography

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International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

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© 2014 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Sep 2014