Acoustic Emission Method to Ascertain Damage Occurrence in Impacted Composites


Reference #: 01448

The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for Acoustic emission method to ascertain damage occurrence in impacted composites


In CFRP composites manufacturing flaws and operational damage are inevitable and need to be detected for quality assurance. In-service damage of CFRP structures is also possible; such damage may be barely visible damage (BVD); this in-service damage is hard to detect but may strongly affect the service life. It is imperative to detect these defects at the earliest to avoid catastrophic failures of these structures. Acoustic emission sensing can be highly effective and reliable in the detection and monitoring of the impact damage and the subsequent flexural deformation. This invention has a major potential application in the aerospace industry where the use of composite materials is at large for the manufacturing of aerospace structures. Existing impact monitoring systems can only estimate the force history and location of the impact event without direct damage estimation. Based on force history, the damage is estimated theoretically using composite design formulae.

Invention Description:

The proposed invention has the capability to determine if damage has occurred during impact events such as bird hits or impact due to runway debris when an aircraft is in operation. From the signals recorded by the sensors, the extent of damage and penetration of the damage into the composite structure can be estimated. This system can be used to rapidly assess impact events from a remote location in real-time. The proposed invention is likely to be adopted by researchers and industrial users for ensuring the structural health monitoring of CFRP composite structures during flight conditions.

In this new proposed methodology, the damage will be detected directly from the analysis of the recorded wave signals. The essence of the proposed new methodology is that damage initiation and growth inside the composite material (matrix cracking, delamination, fiber break, fiber pullout, etc.) produces high-frequency acoustic emission (AE) waves that are transported to the recording sensors along with the relatively lower frequency waves representing the flexural deformation of the impacted composite structure.

Potential Applications:

The industrial applications of this technology include aerospace, automotive, marine, defense and other applications where impact monitoring in composites is essential at the earliest stages of development. The market size could range from $10-15 billion.

Advantages and Benefits:

This signal analysis process can be used in order to efficiently and accurately detect the presence of damage in a reliable manner to localize areas where patches and repairs need to be made. This will lead to increased productivity and minimizing the risk of using defective or damaged parts.

Patent Information:
Title App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date Patent Status
Acoustic Emission Method to Ascertain Damage Occurrence in Impacted Composites Utility United States 17/101,049   11/23/2020     Filed
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
Victor Giurgiutiu
Robin James
Roshan Joseph
acoustic emission
carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP)
composite structures
damage detection
impact damage
structural health monitoring
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