This study presents initial results toward correlative characterization of barely-visible impact damage (BVID) in unidirectional carbon fiber reinforced polymer matrix composite laminate plates using nondestructive ultrasonic testing (UT) and destructive serial sectioning microscopy. To produce damage consistent with BVID, plates were impacted using an instrumented drop-weight tower with pneumatic anti-rebound brake. High-resolution, normal-incidence, single-sided, pulse-echo, immersion UT scans were performed to verify and map internal damage after impact testing. UT C-scans were registered to optical images of the specimen via landmark registration and the use of an affine transformation, allowing location of internal damage in reference to the overall plate and enabling specimen preparation for subsequent serial sectioning. The impact-damaged region was extracted from each plate, prepared and mounted for materialographic sectioning. A modified RoboMet.3D version 2 was employed for serial sectioning and optical microscopy characterization of the impact damaged regions. Automated montage capture of sub-micron resolution, bright-field reflection, 12-bit monochrome optical images was performed over the entire specimen cross-section. These optical images were post- processed to produce 3D data sets, including segmentation to improve visualization of damage features. Impact-induced delaminations were analyzed and characterized using both serial sectioning and ultrasonic methods. Those results and conclusions are presented, as well as future direction of the current study.

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