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Noncontact detection of Teflon inclusions in glass-fiber-reinforced polymer composites using terahertz imaging

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Abstract

We employed terahertz (THz) time-domain spectroscopy (TDS) imaging technology, a new nondestructive testing method, to detect the inclusions of glass-fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) composites. The refractive index and absorption coefficient of two types of GFRP composites (epoxy GFRP composites and polyester GFRP composites) were first extracted, and GFRP composites with Teflon inclusions were examined, including an epoxy GFRP solid panel with a smaller Teflon inclusion hidden behind a larger Teflon inclusion, and polyester GFRP solid panels with Teflon inclusions of various sizes, at different depths. It was experimentally demonstrated that THz TDS imaging technology could clearly detect a smaller inclusion hidden behind a larger inclusion. When the reflected THz pulse from the inclusion did not overlap with that from the front surface of the sample, removal of the latter before Fourier transform was shown to be helpful in imaging the inclusions. With sufficiently strong incident THz radiation, inclusion insertion depth had little impact on the ability of the THz wave to detect inclusions. However, as the thickness of the inclusion became thinner, the inclusion detection ability of the THz wave deteriorated. In addition, with a combination of reflected C-scan imaging and B-scan imaging using the reflected time-domain waveform, both the lateral sizes and locations of the inclusions and the depths and thicknesses of the inclusions were clearly ascertained.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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