Beamforming and Steering in Plate-Like Anisotropic Structures


Reference #: 01166

The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for a phased array technique to rapidly inspect damage in large composite structures. It may be used to assess the quality of composites in product design and manufacturing processes.

Invention Description:

The subject invention describes a phased array technique that allows rapid inspection of large areas of composite material. Compared to the traditional methods, which are designed for isotropic metallic structures, this invention offers a revolutionary approach for rapid damage inspection in composites. It utilizes sensors placed closely together in a compact format, steers the outputs of all sensors in the desired direction, and scans the entire structure (similar to a radar).

Potential Applications:

Non-destructive evaluation, structural health monitoring, damage detection, and failure prevention of critical composite structures in in aviation, aerospace and automotive engineering

Advantages and Benefits:

The technology offers several competitive advantages over current state-of-the-art technology:

  1. It considers the direction dependent properties of anisotropic composites, while the traditional methods use the quasi-isotropic assumption.
  2. It considers the energy skew effect of waves in anisotropic composites, while the traditional methods have not considered that.
  3. It is a generic format that works for both cases: (1) wavenumber and group velocity are aligned and (2) wavenumber and group velocity are not aligned.


Conventional nondestructive evaluation (NDE) techniques use bulk waves to inspect such structures. However, using bulk waves can require a point-by-point measurement of the inspected area, which can be time-consuming and inefficient. Guided wave-based ultrasonic NDE techniques address such inefficiencies.


The algorithm used for this technique has been developed and verified with laboratory testing. 

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
Lingyu Yu
Zhenhua Tian
© 2019. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Inteum