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Composite Calibration Standards Kit for Calibration of Multiple Equipment in the AF Inventory Used for Composite Nondestructive Inspection (NDI)


OBJECTIVE: Design, develop, and create composite calibration standards kit that can be used to calibrate multiple NDI equipment used in the AF ALCs and field installations that reduce inspection frequency and reduce procurement cost. DESCRIPTION: Due to rapid growth in use of composite materials not just in the aerospace but in other types of industries as well, there is proliferation of commercially available NDI equipment used in various methods such as ultrasonic, shearography, thermography, and radiography for composite testing. The AF has several in the inventory for nondestructive inspection of composite materials of aircraft structures and parts. During life cycle maintenance, these parts undergo NDI processes designed to identify potentially critical flaws that could cause catastrophic failure of the aircraft. The three Air Logistics Complexes and supporting field installations apply many kinds of NDI equipment utilizing various technologies and vendor models. To perform composite nondestructive testing inspections, initial calibration of the equipment is required using a series of equipment composite calibration reference standards with known flaws. For example when inspecting using ultrasonic and eddy current equipment on metallic structures or parts, calibration reference standards are readily available and used interchangeably among instruments by different manufacturers. There are no composite calibration reference standards that could be used interchangeably. Each weapon system in the AF inventory that uses composite, has calibration standard specifically designed only for specific instrument but can"t be used to calibrate other types of composite instrument. To ensure that all nondestructive testing equipment used for composite inspection in the AF is calibrated correctly, general purpose composite calibration standards, need to be designed and developed that could be used interchangeably to calibrate all composite NDI equipment in the AF inventory. Research type and size of defects and flaws inspected with composite NDI equipment in the AF. Identify characteristic part geometries of composite equipment calibration standards and their application interchangeability for use on composite NDI equipment in the AF inventory. PHASE I: Identify range of composite materials that are used on AF aircraft. Demonstrate methodology where the Phase I design calibration standards that could fulfill equipment usage interchangeability applications when using other types of composite NDI equipment. PHASE II: Build, determine applicability, validate and verify performance of composite equipment calibration standards designed in Phase 1 against all composite NDI equipment in the AF inventory. Perform POD by demonstrating flaw detectability on composite calibration standards using ultrasonic, shearography, thermography, and radiography equipment utilizing sample of AF NDI technicians. PHASE III: Many industries utilize composite NDI methods and could be interested in a set of composite standards that could be used interchangeably with all of the commercially available NDI equipment for composite testing. REFERENCES: 1. T.O. 33B-1-1 2. MIL-HDBK-1823
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