Improper bonding of composite structures can result in close contact cracks under compressive stresses, called kissing bonds. These bond defects are very difficult to detect using conventional inspection techniques such as tap testing or local ultrasonic scanning and can lead to local propagation of damage if the structure is subjected to crack opening stresses. A method is investigated for identifying kissing bonds in composite material repairs based on vibration measurements. A damage feature of the kissing bond is extracted from the response of the input-output measurement that is a function of the structural path. This path exhibits local decoupling associated with the close contact cracks. Experimental vibration measurements from sandwich composite materials are presented along with the results of the damage detection algorithm for the healthy sections of the material and the kissing bond sections. A vibration based inspection technique could increase the ability to detect kissing bonds in composite material repairs while decreasing inspection time. Benefits of this method of identification over conventional techniques include its robust, objective damage detection methodology and the reduced requirement for specimen preparation and surface texture when compared to ultrasonic scanning.© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.