1. bookVolume 16 (2016): Issue 2 (April 2016)
Journal Details
First Published
07 Mar 2008
Publication timeframe
6 times per year
access type Open Access

A Review of the Radio Frequency Non-destructive Testing for Carbon-fibre Composites

Published Online: 06 May 2016
Volume & Issue: Volume 16 (2016) - Issue 2 (April 2016)
Page range: 68 - 76
Received: 26 Oct 2015
Accepted: 24 Mar 2016
Journal Details
First Published
07 Mar 2008
Publication timeframe
6 times per year

The purpose of this paper is to review recent research on the applications of existing non-destructive testing (NDT) techniques, especially radio frequency (RF) NDT, for carbon-fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) composites. Electromagnetic properties of CFRP composites that are associated with RF NDT are discussed first. The anisotropic characteristic of the conductivity and the relationship between the penetration depth and conductivity should be paid much attention. Then, the well-established RF NDT including eddy current technique, microwave technique and RF-based thermography are well categorised into four types (i.e. electromagnetic induction, resonance, RF-based thermography and RF wave propagation) and demonstrated in detail. The example of impact damage detection using the induction and resonance methods is given. Some discussions on the development (like industrial-scale automated scanning, three-dimensional imaging, short-range ultra-wideband (UWB) imaging and the radio frequency identification technology (RFID)-based NDT) are presented.


[1] Soutis, C. (2005). Carbon fiber reinforced plastics in aircraft construction. Materials Science and Engineering A, 412 (1-2), 171-176.10.1016/j.msea.2005.08.064Search in Google Scholar

[2] Zhang, J., Shi, C., Ma, Y., Han, X., Li, W., Chang, T., Wei, D., Du, C., Cui, H.L. (2015). Spectroscopic study of terahertz reflection and transmission properties of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic composites. Optical Engineering, 54 (5), 054106.10.1117/1.OE.54.5.054106Search in Google Scholar

[3] Pozar, D.M. (2009). Microwave Engineering. John Wiley & Sons.Search in Google Scholar

[4] Tse, K.W., Moyer, C.A., Arajs, S. (1981). Electrical conductivity of graphite fiber-epoxy resin composites. Materials Science and Engineering, 49 (1), 41-46.10.1016/0025-5416(81)90131-2Search in Google Scholar

[5] Weber, M., Kamal, M.R. (1997). Estimation of the volume resistivity of electrically conductive composites. Polymer Composites, 18 (6), 711-725.10.1002/pc.10324Search in Google Scholar

[6] Blitz, J. (1997). Electrical and Magnetic Methods of Non-Destructive Testing. Springer.10.1007/978-94-011-5818-3Search in Google Scholar

[7] Menana, H., Féliachi, M. (2010). Modeling the response of a rotating eddy current sensor for the characterization of carbon fiber reinforced composites. The European Physical Journal Applied Physics, 52 (2), 23304.10.1051/epjap/2010079Search in Google Scholar

[8] Cacciola, M., Calcagno, S., Megali, G. (2009). Eddy current modeling in composite materials. PIERS Online, 5 (6), 591-95.Search in Google Scholar

[9] Yin, W., Peyton, A.J., Dickinson, S.J. (2004). Simultaneous measurement of distance and thickness of a thin metal plate with an electromagnetic sensor using a simplified model. IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement, 53 (4), 1335-1338.10.1109/TIM.2004.830585Search in Google Scholar

[10] Moulder, J.C., Uzal, E., Rose, J.H. (1992). Thickness and conductivity of metallic layers from eddy current measurements. Review of Scientific Instruments, 63 (6), 3455-3465.10.1063/1.1143749Search in Google Scholar

[11] Yin, W., Peyton, A.J. (2006). A planar EMT system for the detection of faults on thin metallic plates. Measurement Science and Technology, 17 (8), 2130-2035.10.1088/0957-0233/17/8/011Search in Google Scholar

[12] Staszewski, W., Tomlinson, G., Boller, C. (2004). Health Monitoring of Aerospace Structures Smart Sensor Technologies and Signal Processing. Wiley.Search in Google Scholar

[13] Mook, G., Lange, R., Koeser, O. (2001). Nondestructive characterisation of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastics by means of eddy-currents. Composites Science and Technology, 61 (6), 865-873.10.1016/S0266-3538(00)00164-0Search in Google Scholar

[14] Mook, G., Simonin, Y. (2014). Eddy current imaging using array probes. In 11th European Conference on Non-Destructive Testing (ECNDT 2014), 6-14 October 2014, Prague, Czech Republic.Search in Google Scholar

[15] Yin, W., Withers, P.J., Sharma, U., Peyton, A.J. (2009). Noncontact characterization of carbon-fiberreinforced plastics using multifrequency eddy current sensors. IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement, 58 (3), 738-743.Search in Google Scholar

[16] Koyama, K., Hoshikawa, H., Kojima, G. (2013). Eddy current nondestructive testing for carbon fiberreinforced composites. Journal of Pressure Vessel Technology, 135 (4), 041501.10.1115/1.4023253Search in Google Scholar

[17] Koyama, K., Hoshikawa, H., Hirano, T. (2011). Investigation of impact damage of carbon fiberreinforced plastic (CFRP) by eddy current nondestructive testing. In Smart Materials, Structures & NDT in Aerospace: International Workshop, 2-4 November 2011, Montreal, Canada, 582-594.Search in Google Scholar

[18] Li, Z., Haigh, A., Soutis, C., Gibson, A. (2014). Simulation for the impact damage detection in composites by using the near-field microwave waveguide imaging. In 53rd Annual Conference of the British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing (NDT 2014), 9-11 September 2014, Manchester, UK.Search in Google Scholar

[19] Green, G.A., Campbell, P., Zoughi, R. (2004). An investigation into the potential of microwave NDE for maritime application. In 16th World Conference of Non-Destructive Testing, 30 August - 3 September 2004, Montreal, Canada.Search in Google Scholar

[20] Akuthota, B., Hughes, D., Zoughi, R., Myers, J., Nanni, A. (2004). Near-field microwave detection of disbond in carbon fiber reinforced polymer composites used for strengthening cement-based structures and disbond repair verification. Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, 16 (6), 540-546.10.1061/(ASCE)0899-1561(2004)16:6(540)Search in Google Scholar

[21] Kharkovsky, S., Zoughi, R. (2005). Application of near-field microwave and millimeter wave nondestructive testing for evaluation of fiber breakage and orientation evaluation in CFRP composite patches. AIP Conference Proceedings, 760, 554-561.10.1063/1.1916724Search in Google Scholar

[22] Kharkovsky, S., Ryley, A.C., Stephen, V., Zoughi, R. (2008). Dual-polarized near-field microwave reflectometer for noninvasive inspection of carbon fiber reinforced polymer-strengthened structures. IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement, 57 (1), 168-175.10.1109/TIM.2007.909497Search in Google Scholar

[23] Yang, S.H., Kim, K.B., Oh, H.G., Kang, J.S. (2013). Non-contact detection of impact damage in CFRP composites using millimeter-wave reflection and considering carbon fiber direction. NDT & E International, 57, 45-51.10.1016/j.ndteint.2013.03.006Search in Google Scholar

[24] Salski, B., Gwarek, W., Korpas, P. (2014). Electromagnetic inspection of carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer composites with coupled spiral inductors. IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, 62 (7), 1535-1544.10.1109/TMTT.2014.2325537Search in Google Scholar

[25] Salski, B., Gwarek, W., Korpas, P. (2014). Nondestructive testing of carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer composites with coupled spiral inductors. In IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium (IMS2014), 1-6 June 2014. IEEE, 1-4.Search in Google Scholar

[26] Salski, B., Gwarek, W., Korpas, P., Reszewicz, S., Chong, A.Y.B., Theodorakeas, P., Hatziioannidis, I., et al. (2015). Non-destructive testing of carbon-fibrereinforced polymer materials with a radio-frequency inductive sensor. Composite Structures, 122 (4), 104-122.10.1016/j.compstruct.2014.11.056Search in Google Scholar

[27] Tabib, A.M, Shoemaker, N.S., Harris, S. (1993). Nondestructive characterization of materials by evanescent microwaves. Measurement Science and Technology, 4 (5), 583-590.10.1088/0957-0233/4/5/007Search in Google Scholar

[28] Wei, T., Xiang, X.D., Wallace-Freedman, W.G., Schultz, P.G. (1996). Scanning tip microwave nearfield microscope. Applied Physics Letters, 68 (24), 3506-3508.10.1063/1.115773Search in Google Scholar

[29] Zhang, Q. (2006). Near-field scanning microwave microscopy and its applications in characterization of dielectric materials. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Notre Dame, Indiana, United States.Search in Google Scholar

[30] Valiente-Montano, L.A. (2007). Scanning near-field microwave profiler. University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom.Search in Google Scholar

[31] Riegert, G., Zweschper, T., Busse, G. (2004). Lockin thermography with eddy current excitation. Quantitative InfraRed Thermography Journal, 1 (1), 21-32.10.3166/qirt.1.21-32Search in Google Scholar

[32] Lebrun, B., Jayet, Y., Baboux, J.C. (1997). Pulsed eddy current signal analysis, application to the experimental detection and characterization of deep flaws in highly conductive materials. NDT & E International, 30 (3), 163-170.10.1016/S0963-8695(96)00072-2Search in Google Scholar

[33] He, Y., Tian, G., Pan, M., Chen, D. (2014). Impact evaluation in carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) laminates using eddy current pulsed thermography. Composite Structures, 109, 1-7.10.1016/j.compstruct.2013.10.049Search in Google Scholar

[34] Pan, M., He, Y., Tian, G., Pan, M., Chen, D., Luo, F. (2012). Defect characterisation using pulsed eddy current thermography under transmission mode and NDT applications. NDT & E International, 52, 28-36.10.1016/j.ndteint.2012.08.007Search in Google Scholar

[35] Cheng, L., Tian, G. (2011). Surface crack detection for carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) materials using pulsed eddy current thermography. IEEE Sensors Journal, 11 (12), 3261-3268.10.1109/JSEN.2011.2157492Search in Google Scholar

[36] Foudazi, A., Donnell, K.M., Ghasr, M.T. (2014). Application of active microwave thermography to delamination detection. In IEEE International Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conference (I2MTC) Proceedings, 12-15 May 2014. IEEE, 1567-1571.10.1109/I2MTC.2014.6861009Search in Google Scholar

[37] Lee, H., Galstyan, O., Babajanyan, A., Friedman, B., Berthiau, G., Kim, J., Han, D.S., Lee, K. (2015). Characterization of anisotropic electrical conductivity of carbon fiber composite materials by a microwave probe pumping technique. Journal of Composite Materials, August 2015, 1-6.Search in Google Scholar

[38] Todoroki, A., Ohara, K., Mizutani, Y., Suzuki, Y., Matsuzaki, R. (2015). Lightning strike damage detection at a fastener using self-Sensing TDR of composite plate. Composite Structures, 132, 1105-1112.10.1016/j.compstruct.2015.07.028Search in Google Scholar

[39] Matsuzaki, R., Melnykowycz, M., Todoroki, A. (2009). Antenna/sensor multifunctional composites for the wireless detection of damage. Composites Science and Technology, 69 (15-16), 2507-2513.10.1016/j.compscitech.2009.07.002Search in Google Scholar

[40] Li, Z., Haigh, A., Soutis, C., Gibson, A., Sloan, R., Karimian, N. (2015). Damage evaluation of carbonfibre reinforced polymer composites using electromagnetic coupled spiral inductors. Advanced Composites Letters, 24 (3), 44-47.Search in Google Scholar

[41] Li, Z., Haigh, A., Soutis, C., Gibson, A., Sloan, R., Karimian, N. (2016). Detection and evaluation of damage in aircraft composites using electromagnetically coupled inductors. Composite Structures, 140, 252-261.10.1016/j.compstruct.2015.12.054Search in Google Scholar

[42] Heuer, H., Schulze, M., Pooch, M., Gabler, S., Nocke, A., Bardl, G., et al. (2015). Review on quality assurance along the CFRP value chain-nondestructive testing of fabrics, preforms and CFRP by HF radio wave techniques. Composites Part B: Engineering, 77, 494-501.10.1016/j.compositesb.2015.03.022Search in Google Scholar

[43] Gabler, S., Heuer, H., Heinrich, G. (2015). Measuring and imaging permittivity of insulators using highfrequency eddy-current devices. IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement, 64, 2227-2238.10.1109/TIM.2015.2390851Search in Google Scholar

[44] Salski, B., Gwarek, W., Kopyt, P., Theodorakeas, P., Hatziioannidis, I., Koui, M., et al. (2015). Portable automated radio-frequency scanner for non-destructive testing of carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer composites. In 6th International Conference on Emerging Technologies in Nondestructive Testing, 27-29 May 2015. CRC Press, 267-273.10.1201/b19381-45Search in Google Scholar

[45] Albishi, A.M., Boybay, M.S., Ramahi, O.M. (2012). Complementary split-ring resonator for crack detection in metallic surfaces. IEEE Microwave and Wireless Components Letters, 22 (6), 330-332.10.1109/LMWC.2012.2197384Search in Google Scholar

[46] Albishi, A., Ramahi, O.M. (2014). Detection of surface and subsurface cracks in metallic and nonmetallic materials using a complementary split-ring resonator. Sensors, 14 (10), 19354-19370. 10.3390/s141019354423993925325340Search in Google Scholar

[47] Benkhaoua, L., Benhabiles, M.T., Riabi, M.L. (2014). A miniaturized near-field sensor based on a doublesided spiral split-ring resonator for dielectric characterization. In IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Workshop Series on RF and Wireless Technologies for Biomedical and Healthcare Applications (IMWS-Bio), 8-10 December 2014. IEEE, 1-3.Search in Google Scholar

[48] Iervolino, O., Meo, M. (2016). A spiral passive electromagnetic sensor (SPES) for wireless and wired structural health monitoring. Measurement Science and Technology, 27 (4), 045601.10.1088/0957-0233/27/4/045601Search in Google Scholar

[49] U.S. Department of Defense. (2002). Composite Materials Handbook: Volume 3. Polymer Matrix Composites. Materials Usage, Design, and Analysis.Search in Google Scholar

[50] Kidera, S., Sakamoto, T., Sato, T. (2010). Accurate UWB radar three-dimensional imaging algorithm for a complex boundary without range point connections. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 48 (4), 1993-2004.10.1109/TGRS.2009.2036909Search in Google Scholar

[51] Gubinelli, S., Paolini, E., Giorgetti, A., Mazzotti, M., Andrea, R., Enrico, T., Marco, C. (2014). An ultrawideband radar approach to nondestructive testing. In IEEE International Conference on Ultra-WideBand (ICUWB), 1-3 September 2014. IEEE, 303-308.10.1109/ICUWB.2014.6958997Search in Google Scholar

[52] Zhong, C.H., Croxford, A.J., Wilcox, P.D. (2014). Remote inspection system for impact damage in large composite structure. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 471 (2175), 20140631.Search in Google Scholar

[53] Alamin, M., Tian, G.Y., Andrews, A., Jackson, P. (2012). Corrosion detection using low-frequency RFID technology. Insight - Non-Destructive Testing and Condition Monitoring, 54 (2), 72-75.10.1784/insi.2012.54.2.72Search in Google Scholar

Recommended articles from Trend MD

Plan your remote conference with Sciendo