Subsurface impact damage imaging for composite structures using 3D digital image correlation
Abbott, T. B., & Yuan, F.-G. (2023, May 19). STRUCTURAL HEALTH MONITORING-AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL.
An integrated system is proposed to visualize subsurface barely visible impact damage (BVID) in composite structures using three-dimensional (3D) digital image correlation (3D DIC). This system uses a pair of digital cameras to record video frames in the field-of-view (FOV) of the structure’s surface, capturing the wavefield generated via chirp excitation in the near-ultrasonic frequency range. Significant pitfalls of previous efforts of damage imaging using two-dimensional DIC have been largely mitigated. First, 3D DIC enables capturing out-of-plane displacements, which are much larger in amplitude versus in-plane displacements that a single camera would be limited to sensing, thus increasing the signal-to-noise ratio. This enhancement in turn increases the sensitivity of the stereo-camera system. Second, a total wave energy (TWE) damage imaging condition is proposed to visualize the local damage region. The monogenic signal obtained via Reisz transform (RT) is employed to compute the instantaneous amplitude, with which the local wave energy can be calculated spatially over time. Since a high displacement amplitude and thus high wave energy will occur in the damage region due to the local resonance, the proposed TWE imaging condition can relax the Nyquist sampling requirement, unlike guided-wave-based structural health monitoring techniques which require fully reconstructing the wavefield and wave modes through sampling that satisfies the Nyquist criterion. As such, a much lower camera frame rate is adequate for the proposed system. Consequently, the maximum spatial resolution of the camera for a given FOV can be achieved at the expense of a reduced frame rate. With the maximized pixel resolution and reduced frame rate for employing the TWE imaging condition, composite structures can be inspected or monitored with a larger FOV. As a result, there is no longer any need to apply signal enhancement techniques, such as sample interleaving, image stitching, or averaging, to increase the effective performance of the camera. Rather than needing thousands of repeated videos for minimizing the incoherent noise, only a single stereo-video with a few seconds of sampling duration is necessary for damage imaging. The use of a powerful piezo-shaker also increases the wave signal amplitude and further enhances sensitivity without permanent adhesion. To demonstrate this stereo-camera concept with the TWE imaging condition, the system was used to image damage in two carbon fiber reinforced polymer composite honeycomb panels, which had been subjected to low-velocity impacts (2 J). For each panel, two excitation configurations were used to verify the robustness of the system. Initial damage maps produced for a 100 × 100-mm FOV using a three-second stereo-video show accurate damage imaging ability that is independent of excitation location and comparable to benchmark damage images computed from laser Doppler vibrometer data and those gathered from ultrasonic and X-ray computerized tomography scans. This efficient and reliable integrated system demonstrated high potential for in-time damage inspection on composite aircraft and other critical structures.