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Physical Ultrasonics of Composites$
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Dale Chimenti, Stanislav Rokhlin, and Peter Nagy

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195079609

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195079609.001.0001

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Reflection and Refraction of Waves at a Planar Composite Interface

Reflection and Refraction of Waves at a Planar Composite Interface

4 (p.137) Reflection and Refraction of Waves at a Planar Composite Interface
Physical Ultrasonics of Composites

Dale Chimenti

Stanislav Rokhlin

Peter Nagy

Oxford University Press

Nondestructive ultrasonic testing of composite materials is affected by several special features of wave propagation that arise from the strong anisotropy and inhomogeneity of these materials. The resulting complexity requires re-examination of old testing methodologies and development of new ones. One of the most fundamental phenomena in ultrasonic nondestructive evaluation is the reflection–refraction of ultrasonic waves at a plane interface. Even the simplest test procedure requires understanding of mode conversion and knowledge of elastic wave reflection and transmission coefficients and refraction angles. Reflection–refraction phenomena, while straightforward and well documented for isotropic materials, are much more complicated for anisotropic materials. When analyzing the oblique incidence inspection method for composite materials, one first has to address the problem of wave propagation through the interface between the coupling medium and the composite material. For example, there is an inherent fluid/composite interface in the immersion technique and a perspex/composite interface in the contact method. In the latter case, assuming that a thin fluid layer is applied to facilitate coupling through the interface, slip rather than welded boundary conditions prevail. Another example of great practical importance is the case of multidirectional fiber plies in a composite laminate, when the reflection and transmission of ultrasonic waves from one ply to another with a different orientation must be considered. Before discussing the general problem of wave refraction in anisotropic composite materials, let us review the simple isotropic case. Consider a plane interface between two isotropic elastic media in “welded” (perfectly bonded) contact, implying continuity of tractions and displacements across the interface, although the boundary conditions are not important at this point. Figure 4.1 shows a schematic diagram of a plane wave with wavenumber ki incident on the interface at angle θi. The parallel lines with spacing equal to the incident wavelength λi correspond to equal-phase planes orthogonal to the incident plane. By definition, the wavenumber ki = 2π/λi is the magnitude of the wave vector ki. The incident wave is converted at the interface into reflected and transmitted waves. The refraction angle of the transmitted wave is θr and its wavenumber is kr.

Keywords:   Acoustic axes, of material, Bond rotation matrix, Christoffel’s equation, Grazing incidence, Musgrave’s method, Permutation tensor, SH wave, SV-type quasitransverse wave, Snell’s law, Uniaxial tensor

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