A Past, Present, and Prospective Review on Microwave Nondestructive Evaluation of Composite Coatings
Recent years have witnessed an increase in the use of composite coatings for numerous applications, including aerospace, aircraft, and maritime vessels. These materials owe this popularity surge to the superior strength, weight, stiffness, and electrical insulation they exhibit over conventional substances, such as metals. The growing demand for such materials is accompanied by the inevitable need for fast, accurate, and affordable nondestructive testing techniques to reveal any possible
... within the coatings or any defects under coating. However, typical nondestructive testing (NDT) techniques such as ultrasonic testing (UT), infrared thermography (IRT), eddy current testing (ECT), and laser shearography (LS) have failed to provide successful results when inspecting composite coatings. Consequently, microwave NDT techniques have emerged to compensate for the shortcomings of traditional NDT approaches. Numerous microwave NDT methods have been reported for composite coatings inspection. Although existing microwave NDT methods have shown successful inspection of composite coatings, they often face several challenges, such as low spatial image quality and extensive data interpretation. Nevertheless, many of these limitations can be addressed by utilizing microwave NDT techniques with modern technologies such as soft computing. Artificially intelligent techniques have greatly enhanced the reliability and accuracy of microwave NDT techniques. This paper reviews various traditional NDT techniques and their limitations in inspecting composite coatings. In addition, the article includes a detailed review of several microwave NDT techniques and their benefits in evaluating composite coatings. The paper also highlights the advantages of using the recently reported microwave NDT approaches employing artificial intelligence approaches. This review demonstrates that microwave NDT techniques in conjunction with artificial intelligence approaches have excellent prospects for further enhancing composite coatings inspection and assessment efficiency. The review aimed to provide the reader with a comprehensive overview of most NDT techniques used for composite materials alongside their most salient features.