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Radio frequency sensing for non-destructive testing of carbon fibrereinforced composite materials for structural health monitoring

It is well recognised that composites have a significant part to play in reducing the weight of many structural engineering components, given its superior strength-to weight ratio.These features help on reducing energy requirements and enabling renewable energy generation through construction of light-weighing devices. Although the aerospace and renewable sectors are currently taking forward the advantages of these materials,in general there has been relatively limited wide-spread adoption of composite components mainly due to the primary failure mechanisms (i.e. delamination and fibre pull-out), which are difficult to accurately detect, leading to an underestimated lifetime of components and attempts at repair practically impossible.


This project will develop a mobile scanner which can be used to detect defects in composite materials and components, at both the point of manufacture and inservice/in-situ. The technique will use a novel radio frequency (RF) with remote sensing and improved scanning speed to detect defects in a range of fibre reinforced composite materials.


The primary market that the SMEs have targeted for the CompHealth System is the aerospace industry. The consequences of a failure of a composite aircraft in flight in terms of human losses and capital losses are clearly much higher than in any other industrial sector using structural composites, there will be more pressure on aircraft operators to deploy effective NDT, than in any other sector. The same is true of the manufacturers of high performance carbon composites for aerospace applications.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 314935.

For more information, please visit the CompHealth website