Measurement of Interfacial Fracture Toughness of Surface Coatings Using Pulsed-Laser-Induced Ultrasonic Waves


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This research develops a new technique for the measurement of interfacial fracture toughness of films/surface coatings using laser-induced ultrasonic waves. Using pulsed laser ablation on the bottom substrate surface, strong stress waves are generated leading to interfacial fractures and coating delamination. Simultaneously, a laser ultrasonic interferometer is used to measure the normal (out-of-plane) displacement of the top surface coating in order to detect coating delamination in a non-destructive manner. We can thus determine the critical laser energy for delamination, yielding the critical stress (that is, the interfacial strength). Subsequently, to examine the interfacial fracture toughness, additional pulsed laser irradiation is applied to a pre-delaminated specimen to show that the delamination area expands. This type of interfacial crack growth can be visualized using laser ultrasonic scanning. Furthermore, the calculation of elastic wave propagation was carried out using a finite-difference time-domain method) in order to accurately estimate the interfacial stress field. In this calculation, the stress distribution around the initial delamination is calculated to obtain the stress intensity factor. Based on the experimental and computational results, interfacial fracture toughness can be quantitatively evaluated. Since this technique relies on a two-laser system in a non-contact approach, it may be useful for a quantitative evaluation of adhesion/bonding quality (including both interfacial fracture strength and toughness) in various environments. © 2017, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Nondestructive Evaluation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Acknowledgements: We would like to thank Professor Hideo Cho (Aoyama Gakuin University, Japan) for his guidance. The work of A.Y. is supported by JSPS KAKENHI (Grant Nos. 26420025 and 17K06062) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and by a Research Grant from JFE 21st Century Foundation.


  • Delamination
  • Interfacial fracture toughness
  • Pulsed-laser-induced ultrasonic wave
  • Surface coating


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