NDT in aerospace: an opportunity for cost reduction

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From 12 to 14th November the 6th Symposium for NDT in aerospace, took place in Madrid. Important companies from aerospace (Airbus, Boeing..) as well as non destructive testing systems suppliers (Tecnatom, Fraunhofer IZPF, M2M, Testia,…), took part in it. Indeed, the aerospace sector is leading the way in the development of non destructive testing technologies.

This gives us a good opportunity to talk about inspection and recommend you some interesting readings on the issue.

NDT is applied in both final part inspection and in-process testing. There are diferent technologies to inspect parts without damaging it, from thermography  to the latest laser generated ultrasonics, there is a wide range of choices depending on the technological needs.

Test equipment Test equipment clasification

 

Ultrasounds use is widespread in aeronautics, for final part inspection, in fabrication and maintenance. The following image shows a schematic view of ultrasound inspection systems and their aplications.

DefectsUltrasound technologies

 

Inspection in resin infused composites

Liquid moulding manufacturing methods are evolving for their use in big parts and one-shot integrated  elements in aerospace. These are complex processes and the inspection as a part of them, opens opportunities for cost reductions through quality assurance.

cost reductionCost reduction

Application of monitoring technologies in the different steps of a liquid moulding process:

fields of applicationFields of application

The most challenging is the integration of these systems on intermediate steps of the production system, to detect problems on time and consequently, reduce quality costs. On the one hand, we could be talking about complex geometries and big sizes. On the other hand,  not to increase the cost of the part, due to long production times, we need to employ systems working at big speeds.

We already spoke of some commercial testing equipments in a previous post. These need to be integrated  in automatic handling systems. This implies technological developmentes as programming interfaces, trajectories,  superpose images in big parts….

There’s still a long way to go until industrialization but there are already some interesting developments for testing in process in liquid moulding composites production.

Some projects that have been working on the matter are:

logos

For futher information we recommend the following articles:

http://www.ndt.net/article/aero2013/content/papers/24_Schmidt.pdf

http://www.facc.com/content/download/1402/8306/file/03_Gubernatis_DI%20Presentation%20FACC%20Kolloquium%205.&%206.07.2012.pdf

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