Application of Frustrated Total Internal Reflection of Millimeter Waves for Detection and Evaluation of Disbonds in Dielectric Joints

Sergey Kharkovsky, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Emilio Nanni
R. Zoughi, Missouri University of Science and Technology

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Millimeter waves penetrate inside of low loss dielectric materials and they are sensitive to the presence of internal interfaces and nonuniformities. This allows millimeter wave nondestructive inspection techniques to be utilized for inspecting dielectric composite structures. A disbond (a thin and extended airgap) in structures possessing adhesively bonded joints with complex geometries is commonly difficult to inspect. In this letter, we demonstrate the operational principle and the useful features of a millimeter wave technique, employing a frustrated total internal reflection of signals transmitted and received by dielectric waveguide probes for detecting and evaluating disbonds in such joints.