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Prof D Hutchins

Abstract: The project aims to examine a range of fibre composite materials, the aim being to detect changes in structure within them. This will involve both capacitive (electrostatic) imaging and ultrasonic pulse compression guided wave measurements. The work will examine both glass fibre composites (which is effectively an electrical insulator) and carbon fibre composites, which are partially electrically conducting. One interesting possibility is the detection of damage due to use at locally elevated temperatures or lightning strikes. The two technologies give complementary information - guided-wave ultrasonic inspection can map out large areas from a few remote access points, whereas capacitive imaging is a local area inspection. As the two approaches measure different physical properties, it may be possible to combine the results to give additional information concerning the nature of the structural change.

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