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Modelling the backscatter from spherical cavities in a solid matrix: can an effective medium layer model mimic the scattering response?

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conference contribution
posted on 2012-12-04, 16:29 authored by Valerie PinfieldValerie Pinfield, Richard E. Challis
Industrial applications are increasingly turning to modern composite layered materials to satisfy strength requirements whilst reducing component weight. An important group of such materials are fibre/resin composites in which long fibres are laid down in layers in a resin matrix. Whilst delamination flaws, where layers separate from each other, are detectable using traditional ultrasonic techniques, the presence of porosity in any particular layer is harder to detect. The reflected signal from a layered material can already be modelled successfully by using the acoustic impedance of the layers and summing reflections from layer boundaries. However, it is not yet known how to incorporate porosity into such a model. The aim of the work reported here was to model the backscatter from randomly distributed spherical cavities within one layer, and to establish whether an effective medium, with a derived acoustic impedance, could reproduce the characteristics of that scattering. Since effective medium models are much more readily implemented in simulations of multi-layer structures than scattering per se, it was felt desirable to simplify the scattering response into an effective medium representation. A model was constructed in which spherical cavities were placed randomly in a solid continuous matrix and the system backscattering response was calculated. The scattering from the cavities was determined by using the Rayleigh partial-wave method, and taking the received signal at the transducer to be equivalent to the far field limit. It was concluded that even at relatively low porosity levels, the received signal was still “layer-like” and an effective medium model was a good approximation for the scattering behaviour.



  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering


  • Chemical Engineering


PINFIELD, V.J. and CHALLIS, R.E., 2011. Modelling the backscatter from spherical cavities in a solid matrix: can an effective medium layer model mimic the scattering response? Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 269, 012016.




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This conference paper was published under licence in the Journal of Physics: Conference Series by IOP Publishing Ltd. It was delivered at the 6th Groupe De Recherche 2501 and 9th Anglo-French Physical Acoustics Joint Conference.






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