Lock-In Thermography and Ultrasonic Testing of Impacted Basalt Fibers Reinforced Thermoplastic Matrix Composites
Basalt fibers are receiving increasing consideration because they seem to be adequate as reinforcement of composites and to comply with the environmental safeguard rules. However, many factors affect the performance of composite material, demanding specific testing; one may be performance assessment under impact tests. The attention of the present work is focused on the detection of impact damage in basalt-based composites with two non-destructive testing techniques: lock-in thermography (LT)
... thermography (LT) and ultrasonic testing (UT). Two different types of materials are considered which both include basalt fibers as reinforcement but two different matrices: Polyamide and polypropylene. Polypropylene is used either pure or modified with the addition of a coupling agent; the latter improves the fiber/matrix interface strength, giving in practice, a material of different characteristics. Specimens are first subjected to low-velocity impact tests and then non-destructively examined with the two above mentioned techniques. The obtained results are analyzed and compared to highlight the advantages and limitations of the two techniques to detect impact damage in basalt-based composites. Both techniques seem effective for the inspection of polyamide/basalt composite; in particular, there is a general agreement between results. Conversely, UT seems not suitable for the inspection of polypropylene/basalt composites because of their superficial porosity, while lock-in thermography is effective also for this type of composite material.