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Non-destructive testing of polyethylene composite by terahertz radiation

Jun 16, 2016

Palka, Norbert, Wiesław Ciurapinski, Janusz Wrobel, Leon Jodlowski, Mieczyslaw Szustakowski, Danuta Miedzinska, Roman Gielata, and Rene Beigang.


We report on the terahertz time-of-flight analysis of an internal structure of an ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) composite material, which is based on the BT10-tape from Dyneema®. This type of composite is very hard and resistant and therefore it is often used to manufacture personal armors such as bulletproof vests and helmets. The multilayer structure of the UHMWPE composite was investigated by means of a raster scanning time domain spectroscopy technique in a reflection configuration. The mechanism of the formation of many shifted in time THz pulses (reflected from the internal layers of the sample) originates from the periodic modulation of the refractive index along the propagation of the radiation. This modulation is connected with alternate layers of fibers, each having different direction (perpendicular to each other one). As a result, the detailed three dimensional profile of the 20-mm-thick sample was obtained. Moreover, it is also possible to identify internal defects i.e. delaminations in the internal structure of this composite material.