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  1. An accurate non-model-based method for delamination identification of laminated composite plates is proposed in this work. A weighted mode shape damage index is formulated using squared weighted difference between a measured mode shape of a composite plate with delamination and one from a polynomial that fits the measured mode shape of the composite plate with a proper order. Weighted mode shape damage indices associated with at least two measured mode shapes of the same mode are synthesized to formulate a synthetic mode shape damage index to exclude some false positive identification results due to measurement noise and error. An auxiliary mode shape damage index is proposed to further assist delamination identification, by which some false negative identification results can be excluded and edges of a delamination area can be accurately and completely identified. Both numerical and experimental examples are presented to investigate effectiveness of the proposed method, and it is shown that edges of a delamination area in composite plates can be accurately and completely identified when measured mode shapes are contaminated by measurement noise and error. In the experimental example, identification results of a composite plate with delamination from the proposed method are validated by its C-scan image.