Ultrasonic guided waves have proven to be attractive to the long-range testing of composite laminates. As complex-shaped composite components are increasingly incorporated in high-performance structures, understanding of both anisotropic and geometric effects on guided waves propagation is needed to evaluate their suitability for the non-destructive testing (NDT) of such complex structures. This paper reports the Semi-Analytical Finite Element (SAFE) simulations revealing the capability of energy confinement carried by two types of guided modes in 90° carbon fiber/epoxy (CF/EP) bends. Existence of the phenomenon is cross-validated by both 3D Finite Element (FE) modeling and experimental measurements. The physics of such energy trapping effect is explained in view of geometric variation and anisotropic properties, and the frequency effect on the extent of energy concentration is discussed. Finally, the feasibility of using such confined guided waves for rapid inspection of bent composite plate structures is also discussed. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.