Evaluation of Mechanical Fatigue Damage Accumulation in Metal Matrix Composites Using Ultrasonic Surface Waves

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MacLellan, Patrick
Stubbs, David
Karpur, Prasanna
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Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation
Center for Nondestructive Evaluation

Begun in 1973, the Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation (QNDE) is the premier international NDE meeting designed to provide an interface between research and early engineering through the presentation of current ideas and results focused on facilitating a rapid transfer to engineering development.

This site provides free, public access to papers presented at the annual QNDE conference between 1983 and 1999, and abstracts for papers presented at the conference since 2001.


This study demonstrates that an in situ nondestructive, ultrasonic surface wave technique can successfully detect the onset and extent of matrix cracking fatigue damage in a titanium metal matrix composite (MMC). A quasi-isotropic [0/±45/90]s SCS-6/Timetal®21S MMC material was used for room temperature fatigue tests and the resultant matrix cracking damage was ultrasonically monitored in situ as a function of cycle count. Damage accumulation in the material was successfully correlated with decreases in ultrasonic pitch catch amplitude and verified through the use of immersion ultrasonic C-scans and metallographic techniques. Damage initiation and progression was tracked through the use of complementary nondestructive and destructive techniques. The in situ surface wave data show that the higher the fatigue stress level, the more quickly damage occurs; conversely, the lower the stress level, the slower the damage initiation. The in situ surface wave technique proved to be more sensitive to the accumulating damage than standard load-displacement modulus measurements. The surface wave technique also indicated a change in material properties after only one fatigue cycle. The data acquired show that a better understanding of damage initiation and accumulation can be gained using the in situ surface wave technique in comparison to current load-displacement modulus measurements.

Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 1995