Ultrasonic guided wave inspection of adhesive joints: A parametric study for a step-lap joint

Padma Kumar Puthillath, Haraprasad Kannajosyula, Cliff J. Lissenden, Joseph L. Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Adhesively bonded joints are used to connect structural members in aircraft. When subject to loads and environmental conditions these joints undergo deterioration. Being load bearing members, it becomes critical to develop reliable and non-destructive methods for inspecting these adhesive joints. Ultrasonic guided waves, with their mode and frequency tuning possibilities, form an attractive tool for such inspections. Guided wave behavior as observed through dispersion phenomena is dependent on the waveguide dimensions. Since actual structural joints in aircraft involve adherends of different thicknesses and materials, and joints of varied overlap lengths, a robust inspection methodology needs to be tunable for all conditions. A parametric study showing the effect that some key joint parameters, that is the thickness of the adhesive, overlap length, and material parameters, have on the ultrasonic guided wave behavior is presented in this paper. In addition, the influence of defects like cohesive weakness, delamination and kissing bonds and their location on guided wave propagation is investigated. The transmission of ultrasonic guided wave energy is used as a guideline to select optimal conditions for joint inspection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1127-1133
Number of pages7
JournalAIP Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2009
EventReview of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation - Chicago, IL, United States
Duration: Jul 20 2008Jul 25 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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