Developing Raman Spectroscopy for the Nondestructive Testing of Composite Materials

The proposed research will develop the application of Raman Spectroscopy as a nondestructive evaluation tool for the condition assessment of carbon fiber composites. Composite materials are increasingly being used in engineered structures and components, ranging from highway bridges to airframes and pressure vessels. These materials have a high strength to mass ratio, making them ideal materials for inclusion in space vehicles, hydrogen cars and aircraft. There exists a critical need to develop nondestructive evaluation technologies that can be used to assess the condition of these materials in-situ, such that components and systems can be managed and repaired during their service lives. To date, NDE technologies developed for the inspection of composite materials have focused on mechanical damage scenarios, such as impact and fatigue. There is growing concern that environmental degradation of these materials leads to reduced strength during their service lives, and presently there are no NDE technologies capable of characterizing the degradation of composite materials in-situ. The proposed research will investigate if Raman spectroscopy can be used for the condition assessment of composite materials during their service lives. Raman spectroscopy is a laser technique that is sensitive to molecular interactions in ordered materials such as graphite and carbon fibers. For carbon materials, the technique has been shown to be sensitive to applied elastic stresses and structural order on a molecular level. Traditionally a laboratory technique, new instrumentation implementing fiber-optic probes has extended the potential for this technology beyond the laboratory. The potential exist for implementation as a hand-held device for the inspection of engineering components and structures, including bridges and hydrogen vehicles.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $22475.00
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Missouri Department of Transportation

    1617 Missouri Boulevard
    P.O. Box 270
    Jefferson City, MO  United States  65102
  • Principal Investigators:

    Washer, Glenn

  • Start Date: 20080701
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20090630
  • Source Data: RiP Project 18894

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01462503
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Center for Infrastructure Engineering Studies
  • Contract Numbers: DTR06-G-0014
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:04PM