Experimental Methods to Quantify Microdamage and Microstructure Anomalies in Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Composites: Overview

  • Valeria La Saponara
  • Rani Elhajjar
Reference work entry


Composite structures are known to be susceptible to both manufacturing defects and in-service damage. Defects or damage can result in serviceability issues or a loss in the structural capability. Detection and characterization of defect and damage is thus of paramount importance in any successful deployment of fiber-reinforced polymer composites, particularly as they are used as primary load-carrying structures. Experimental methods for investigation of microdamage or anomalies in composites present the challenge that one single method is not capable of identifying all damage mechanisms. This chapter presents a review of selected experimental methods aimed at providing a quantitative description of selected damage types of microscale dimensions (e.g., intra-ply cracks) and microstructure anomalies (waviness, porosity) in fiber-reinforced polymer composites. The chapter discusses in the first part microscale damage characterization using microscopy, radiography acoustics, and ultrasonic techniques, while the second part is focused on the characterization of microstructural anomalies that depend on manufacturing, namely, waviness and porosity.


Acoustic Emission Lamb Wave Void Content Cellulose Acetate Film Fiber Waviness 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA

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