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Alternative Nondestructive Testing Inspection Method of In-service Aircraft Bolts and Wheels

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-16-M-5034
Agency Tracking Number: F161-114-1208
Amount: $149,485.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF161-114
Solicitation Number: 2016.1
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2016
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2016-07-19
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2017-03-05
Small Business Information
8330 Washington PL NE
Albuquerque, NM 87113
United States
DUNS: 800669884
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Eric Biedermann
 (505) 338-2576
Business Contact
 Jeanette Ruiz
Phone: (505) 314-1505
Research Institution

ABSTRACT: Vibrant proposes the application of Process Compensated Resonance Testing (PCRT) as an alternative wheel and bolt inspection. PCRT uses the collection and analysis of a parts resonance frequencies to perform PASS/FAIL NDI, process monitoring and control, and part life monitoring for a wide range of critical aerospace components including wheels and bolts. In commercial wheel and bolt inspections PCRT has demonstrated sensitivity to defects and material conditions of interest, including those that cannot be detected by MT and PT. PCRT systems automatically collect resonance frequencies and analyze them with statistical scoring methods, returning a PASS/FAIL result that requires no operator interpretation. PCRT does not require extensive cleaning of components or strip and recoat of wheels. PCRT generates no hazardous waste and uses relatively simple equipment. PCRT inspections are very fast, typically requiring less than 30 seconds for a PASS/FAIL inspection. In this Phase I project, Vibrant will acquire wheel and bolt sample parts, collect resonance data from them, and develop PCRT inspections that detect the conditions of interest. Vibrant will perform feasibility demonstrations of the sorting capability. The work performed in this project will lead to the creation of a robust prototype system for high throughput testing in Phase II.; BENEFIT: Successful application of PCRT inspections to in-service wheels and bolts will yield significant benefits to DoD and commercial customers. PCRT will improve safety of flight through accurate detection of defects and material conditions that cannot be found by legacy MT and PT methods. PCRT inspections are fast and automated, dramatically reducing inspection time and cost. PCRT reduces human error by producing an automated PASS/FAIL result that requires no interpretation. PCRT tests do not require stripping and recoating of wheels, further cutting inspection costs and removing another source of inaccuracy in PT testing. The elimination of wheel strip/recoat, coupled with no generation of hazardous waste, gives PCRT a much smaller environmental and regulatory footprint than legacy methods.

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

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