You are here

A Rapid Optical Approach to Quantitative Composite Bond Quality Assessment

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00014-15-C-0082
Agency Tracking Number: N13A-011-0107
Amount: $489,607.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: N13A-T011
Solicitation Number: 2013.0
Solicitation Year: 2013
Award Year: 2015
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2015-09-18
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2017-03-17
Small Business Information
4 Fourth Avenue
Burlington, MA 01803
United States
DUNS: 047627732
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Frank Clark
 Principal Scientist
 (781) 273-4770
Business Contact
 Robert Sundberg
Title: Program Officer
Phone: (781) 273-4770
Research Institution
 University of Louisville
 John Kielkopf
2301 S 3rd St
Louisville, KY 40292-1798
United States

 (502) 852-5990
 Nonprofit College or University

Widely used composite materials reduce aircraft weight and cost, improve structural performance, and boost fuel efficiency. However, composites are susceptible to adhesive bond line quality issues, both in initial fabrication and in service related bonding failures. Detection of weakened bonds requires an easy diagnostic approach to routinely monitor composite aircraft health. Our proposed solution combines a flexible bulk wave exciter, compact lightweight rapid zooming optical imaging device, and innovative processing. This approach can monitor an entire airframe, or zoom in to a specific joint and identify suspicious bonds by detecting areas of resonance or damping change resulting from a weakened bond. This technique, the Fast Imaging Non-Destructive Inspection Technique (FINDIT), directly and nondestructively tests the mechanical properties of composite bond lines. FINDIT quantitatively measures the associated surface tilt-tip changes and may be automated, removing subjective judgment factors. FINDIT can outline a hidden kissing bond and quantify the bond strength by measuring the bond mechanical damping properties. We envision commercial aircraft applications in production and normal hangar maintenance, as well as automotive safety, and other areas of composite application such as boats.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government