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A CAD-NDE Translator (CADNET) for the Ultrasonic Inspection of Contoured Ceramic Gas Turbine Components
Phone: (512) 681-9102
The automated inspection of gas turbine components has proven to be difficult due to their complex geometry. While ultrasonics has demomstrated excellent capabilities in detecting and characterizing the erosion and corrosion on turbine components from the hot effluent gases, it's application details laborious alignment procedures for the ultrasonic transducer during inspection. The need for automated inspection systems has become more pressing with the proposed next-generation gas turbine where ceramic materials are being cobsidered for their high temperature capability and reduced cooling requirements. Critical flaw sizes for ceramics are smaller than those for metals and the ceramics fail catastrophically due to their brittle nature. A novel method for conducting the automated ultrasonic inspection of ceramic turbine blades and other complex-geometry gas turbine components is proposed. The innovation of this method lies in the development of a software package, called the CAD-Nde Translator (CADNET), which generates motion control commands from the CAD drawings of a complex geometry part. The motion control commands are used to instruct an inspection robot to closely follow the contour of the part. In Phase I, we will develop this translator. In Phase II, we will integrate this translator into a high-frequency ultrasonic system and evaluate it by conducting the automated inspection of ceramic turbine blades.
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