Enhanced Portable Ultrasonic Nondestructive Inspection of Composite Armor
Small Business Information
640 E. Diamond Ave., Suite C, Gaithersburg, MD, 20877
Eric A. Lindgren
AbstractAn advanced ultrasonic inspection system is proposed to locate and characterize defects in thick composite armor. The technique will detect characteristic signals to identify and evaluate defects in the material. The methodology has also an inherent large signal-to-noise ratio enhancement that allows it to be used to inspect highly attenuating materials. If defects are present, the changes in the characteristic signal will help identify the type of defect. The defect could be classified whether it is due to delaminations or impact damage. Phase I will concentrate on implementing the ultrasonic technique on various composite armor specimens to determine the optimal inspection parameters. The methodology will be used to test composite armor specimens with simulated defects to determine the characteristic response from each defect type and to catalog the information for additional processing and classification. This will demonstrate the ability of this ultrasonic method to inspect thick composite armor samples and identify the type of defect. Using the information collected from these tests, an initial design of the inspection system will be completed for the examination of actual parts. Preliminary contacts with commercial users have demonstrated a significant interest in the proposed system, simplifying the commercialization process. BENEFITS: This project will result in a state-of-the-art portable ultrasonic system that can perform inspection and characterization of composite armor in advanced military vehicles. There is a market for an improved ultrasonic instrument capable of inspecting thick, attenuating composites for a wide variety of a applications, including submersible vessels, boats, trucks, automobiles, trains, bridges and military vehicles. This continued increase in the use of composite materials requires a system capable of rapid, nondestructive inspection to insure the quality of composite structures.
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