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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: FA8650-17-C-5058
Agency Tracking Number: F161-114-1208
Amount: $749,176.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF161-114
Solicitation Number: 2016.1
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2017
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2017-07-12
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-10-07
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
 Engineering Manager
 (505) 338-2576
Business Contact
 Jeanette Ruiz
Phone: (505) 314-1505
Research Institution

Vibrant proposes the application of Process Compensated Resonance Testing (PCRT) as an alternative to magnetic particle testing (MT) and penetrant testing (PT) for in-service aircraft wheel and bolt inspection. PCRT collects and analyzes a parts resonance frequencies to perform PASS/FAIL NDI, population characterization, outlier screening and part-to-itself inspection for critical aerospace components, including wheels and bolts. In Phase I, Vibrant demonstrated the feasibility of detecting damaged wheels and bolts with PCRT while overcoming the drawbacks of MT and PT. PCRT generates no hazardous waste and uses relatively simple equipment. PCRT inspections are very fast, typically requiring less than 10 seconds for a PASS/FAIL inspection of bolts and less than 1 minute for wheels, yielding a significant reduction in maintenance hours. 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 bolt threads, or strip and recoat of wheels. In Phase II of this project, Vibrant will continue developing PCRT wheel and bolt inspections, and demonstrate production/depot-grade PCRT systems that perform accurate, high-throughput inspection. Success in this program will set the stage for a Phase III transition to commercial and military applications.

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

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