Photothermal NDE of UD/Epoxy-Based Carbon Fibre Reinforced Laminates for Quantitative Porosity Analysis

Holger Plasser, Günther Mayr, Gernot Mayr, Philipp Zallinger, Bernhard Plank, Günther Hendorfer, Zoltân Major

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


High strength and low density make epoxy-based CFRP a highly interesting construction material for the aerospace manufacturing industry. Porosity represents an unavoidable defect and significantly weakens strength values dominated by the matrix. To evaluate the quality of safety-relevant components, non-destructive evaluation and thus the characterization of porous structures is indispensable. Pulsed thermography represents a fast, large-area and non-contact testing method that enables efficient estimation of material parameters. In this work, the authors demonstrate the quantitative estimation of porosity by pulsed thermography on a multi-axial laminate fabricated from unidirectional Prepregs for the first time. The characteristic, extensive expansion of the pores in fiber direction, is addressed by the 3D microstructure characterization of Cone beam X-ray computed tomography data. Hence, the application of effective medium theories and thus the model based porosity estimation is enabled. After the investigation of the effect of pore expansion on the effective thermal diffusivity in 3D finite element simulations, the quantitative photothermal porosity estimation on a sample with a global volume porosity of Φ = 1.51 % is demonstrated. The accuracy of this fast and non-contact method for porosity estimation with pulsed thermography (Δ Φ = 0.63 %) is comparable to the standard ultrasonic method. Consequently, an efficient estimation of porosity for large, complex shaped UD/Epoxy composite components is enabled.

Original languageEnglish
Article number32
JournalJournal of Nondestructive Evaluation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • Active thermography
  • Effective medium theories
  • Muli-axial CFRP
  • Non-destructive testing
  • Photothermal testing
  • Porosity
  • Unidirectional lamina


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