Ply-orientation measurements in composites using structure-tensor analysis of volumetric ultrasonic data

Luke Nelson*, Robert Smith, Martin Mienczakowski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)
502 Downloads (Pure)


Ply wrinkling in carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) laminates is often geometrically complex and difficult to quantify using non-destructive techniques. In this paper, an ultrasonic technique for mapping ply wrinkling is presented. The instantaneous-phase three-dimensional dataset obtained from a pulse-echo ultrasonic inspection is processed using the structure-tensor image processing technique to quantify the orientations of the internal plies of a CFRP laminate. It is shown that consideration must be given to the wrapped nature of the phase dataset during processing to obtain accurate orientation maps. Three dimensional ply orientation and ply-location maps obtained from a test coupon are compared with true ply angles and locations by overlaying the ultrasonically-derived results on X-ray CT image slices, showing that accurate orientation maps can be obtained using the proposed technique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-119
Number of pages12
JournalComposites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing
Early online date23 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • A. Layered structures
  • B. Directional orientation
  • D. Non-destructive testing
  • D. Ultrasonics


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