In this study the amplitude and the phase of the structural response of samples of Single Lap Joint (SLJ) subjected to ultrasonic harmonic excitation was evaluated to identify and characterize the defects within the bonded region. Different parameters such as frequency, shape, and amplitude of the response signal coming back from the adhesive joint are key criteria for understanding the quality of the adhesion. Different metallic samples with the same geometry were experimentally tested: the defects were artificially introduced bonding partially two plates and changing the extension of the debonded region: two piezoelectric sensors (one exciting, one receiver) were attached on each of the two bonded plates. In this way, different experimental tests were carried out in order to study the influence of debonded regions on SLJ structural behavior. The structural dynamic response of the debonded samples was investigated and compared with the predictions of numerical models, for each SLJ, introducing viscoelastic properties for the adhesive layer, and applying the harmonic excitation. Moreover the numerical modal analysis was used to understand the experimental results by a proper description of viscoelastic tape behavior. The numerical simulations were used to find correlation between the content of the acquired signals and the defects of adhesion.
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