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Composite materials are being increasingly used in aerospace industry due to their high strength to weight ratio, tolerance to fatigue and resistance to corrosion leading to highly efficient structures. However, unlike metallic structures, composite structures are brittle in nature and may fail catastrophically. Therefore, there arises a need for continuous inspection and health monitoring of composite structures during their operation. Due to their layer by layer structures the failure starts mostly from the internal defects like delaminations, debonding etc. Linear ultrasonic methods based on the principles of reflection, transmission, absorption of sound waves have proven to be successful for monitoring the internal defects in composites with quite fair accuracy. However, these linear methods may fail to detect defects in certain cases like closed developing delaminations, kissing bonds, low sound transmission, rough probe surface. For such instances, nonlinear acoustics methods are gaining popularity in recent years. Nonlinear acoustic methods usually involve exciting the structure to be probed for defects with excitation signals and looking out for the vibration response of the structure. The damaged regions of the structure vibrate in a nonlinear fashion near the defect region. The nonlinear methods employ this property of nonlinear vibrations to predict the damage inside the structure. In this study, an attempt has been made to study the nonlinear acoustic response of a composite laminate with a delamination defects through experimental methods and numerical methods.
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