Current inspection techniques encounter difficulties with detecting damage of thick-walled composite structures, which are often used in the maritime and infrastructure environment. These constructions are often large in size, which means that manual inspection can be time-consuming and a number of inspection techniques cannot be applied. Health monitoring techniques can help monitor the construction continuously. This offers clear advantages with regard to quality and safety assurance. Moreover, continuous monitoring can also result in a clear quantification of the probability of failure. This can be used in further optimisation of the construction and service life thanks to the generally accepted risk-based design methodology.

Innovation Track 4: Monitor and detect mechanisms in large composite constructions

The main goal of this innovation track is to monitor and detect the relevant mechanisms to find failures in large maritime infrastructural composite constructions. Therefore, a great deal of knowhow on the mechanical behaviour and inspection systems for real life of composites will be gained during this track. Consequently, the generated knowledge can be used as a cross-over for other industries. 

Besides this, research will be done to development of potential technologies that will allow the inspection of adhesive bonds and health monitoring of maritime- aerospace- and infrastructural composite structures. 

Literature references

Journal Papers

  1. Fazzi L, Groves RM (TU Delft). Demodulation of a tilted fibre Bragg grating (TFBG) transmission signals using α-shape modified Delaunay triangulation. Measurement 166, pp. 108197, 2020. 


  1. Anisimov A, Groves RM, Fazzi L, Tao N (TU Delft), Elenbass M (Damen), Huizinga J, Troost P, Wevers D (TiaT). Non-Destructive Inspection of Thick-Walled Composites. E-LASS, September 2020. 
  2. Fazzi L, Klyukin D, Groves RM (TU Delft). Transfer matrix method for fundamental LP01 core mode coupling in a Tilted FBG sensor. MPAS Conference, International Conference of Numerical Analysis and Applied Mathematics ICNAAM, Greece, published in AIP Conference Proceedings, 2019. 


01_DCMC-E-LASS-TU-Delft-7-to-be-public Non-Destructive Inspection of Thick-Walled Composites

1-s2.0-S0963869523001226-main Towards safe shearography inspection of thick composites with controlled surface temperature heating

Project status

Runtime: March 2017-2023

Project closed.

  • Status: COMPLETED December 2018

    Determination of relevant damage types in thick composites, to define in detail the problem to be investigated.

  • Status: COMPLETED December 2019

    Assessment of available NDT techniques, to establish state of the art and select NDT techniques for investigation.


    Development of TFBG (tilted fibre Bragg grating) technology to investigate cure monitoring. Current work is calibration of sensors.


    Development of optical 3D metrology techniques for damage detection. Current work is preliminary testing.


    Development and evaluation of representative composite test pieces, to assess the performance of NDT methods.  Next steps are to compare the results from different inspection techniques.


    Asssesment of regulation and certification of NDt techniques for thick-walled composites. 


    Assessment and recording inspection and monitoring protocol. Waiting for results from M4.1.

Innovation track no. 4 started informally with partners sharing experience and actual panels and at full-speed after the contact was signed in June 2018. The first results of this collaboration were presented in Q1 2019. Due to reorganization of WP partners, there is potential; for increased involvement and budget for the WP partners. 

Damen is participating in innovation track no. 4 as producer and end user of thick walled composites. TU Delft, TiaT and Dutch Terahertz Inspection Services participate as inspection technology providers.

Parties involved

More information

For any questions about the project (status) or if interested to collaborate, please contact: 
Marcel Elenbaas (DAMEN) or Hans Poulis (TU Delft)