Real-time damage characterization for GFRCs using high-speed synchrotron X-ray phase contrast imaging

Jinling Gao, Nesredin Kedir, Cody D. Kirk, Julio Hernandez, Junyu Wang, Shane Paulson, Xuedong Zhai, Todd Horn, Garam Kim, Jian Gao, Kamel Fezzaa, Francesco De Carlo, Pavel Shevchenko, Tyler N. Tallman, Ronald Sterkenburg, Giuseppe R. Palmese, Weinong Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We report the application of high-speed synchrotron X-ray phase contrast imaging (PCI) in real-time damage characterization for glass fiber reinforced composites (GFRCs) subjected to dynamic loading. Dynamic single-edge notched bending (DSENB) experiments on pre-notched S-2 GFRCs were performed on a modified Kolsky compression bar. During loading, the synchrotron X-ray beam penetrated through the composite specimen from the side to detect damage evolution inside the material. Entire dynamic events were recorded by a high-speed camera as image sequences.0° and 90° unidirectional and cross-ply composites were investigated. An optical imaging technique was also employed to capture similar dynamic events in comparison with the radiographic imaging. It is demonstrated that high-speed X-ray PCI had sufficient phase contrast to characterize a crack initiation at a 20-μm spatial resolution within 920 ns and track the crack geometry during propagation, thereby providing reliable data to quantify the dynamic damage resistance of GFRCs. Furthermore, being capable of recognizing microscopic damage-related features at a sub-10-μm resolution, high-speed X-ray PCI provided fundamental material failure mechanisms to reveal the essential of macroscale structural failure of composites. It can also track the damage evolution inside and between individual plies of laminated composites. However, current high-speed X-ray PCI technique only supports in-situ observation and the high timing and spatial resolutions are limited within a field of view of ~2.5 mm in square, preventing its application in the three-dimensional and larger-area damage detection for GFRC structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108565
JournalComposites Part B: Engineering
StatePublished - Feb 15 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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