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Characterization of metal matrix composites by linear ultrasonics and finite element modeling

Xuesheng Chen, Steve D. Sharples, Matt Clark, David Wright

J. Acoust. Soc. Amer., vol: 133, num: 2, 760, published: 01 February 2013,

Abstract: Titanium metal matrix composites (TiMMCs) offer advantages over traditional materials for aerospace applications due to the increased mechanical strength of the materials. But the non-destructive inspection of these materials, especially with ultrasound, is in an infancy stage. If the manufacturing process of TiMMC is not correctly controlled, then disbonds and voids between the fibers can result. The effective microstructure of the composite makes difficulty to interpret results from traditional ultrasound techniques because of the scattering caused by fibers; the scattering prevents the ultrasound from penetrating far into the composite region and produces a background signal masking any reflections from voids. In this paper, relatively low frequency ultrasound is used to probe the composite region, and the state of the composite (porosity) is inferred from the velocity of the ultrasound traversing the composite. The relationship between the velocity and porosity is complex in this regime, so finite element (FE) analysis is used to model the composite regions and relate the velocity to the porosity. The FE simulated results are validated by ultrasound velocity measurements.

      Acoustical measurements.
         Acoustical control in technology.

      Physical acoustics of gases, liquids and solids.
         Acoustics of solids.
            Acoustical properties of solids.