of cracks and impacts
All safety-relevant aircraft structures must be tested non-destructively, both during production and in operation. The material defects that occur are very diverse and depend heavily on the material used. Typical applications in the field of fibre-reinforced plastics and ceramics include testing for delamination, impact damage, inclusions of foreign materials (water in honeycomb structures), determination of porosity, resin/fibre content, wall thickness, fibre orientation and inhomogeneities. An important area of application is also the testing of bonded joints, which includes in particular the characterisation of the bonding of metallic inserts to the overlying laminate.
Aerospace NDT in a nutshell
Large, thin-walled structures can be inspected without contact and with imaging in < 1 min per m², thicker-walled structures within a few minutes. Compared to a classic ultrasonic inspection or an X-ray CT, there are clear advantages in the inspection speed.
Applications of Aerospace NDT
To find delaminations and impacts in fibre composite structures, we use active thermography, usually with flash or halogen lamp excitation. If other types of defects are sought, such as cracks in fibre composite or metal parts, induction or powerful ultrasound is often used as thermal excitation.