Field-Portable Infrastructure Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Composite Inspection & Evaluation System using Ultrasound Technologies
Small Business Information
195 Clarksville Road, Princeton Jct., NJ, 08550
AbstractRecently, significant attention has been paid to the country's dilapidated infrastructure; buildings, bridges, and concrete water and sewer pipes need to be retrofitted to sustain the increasing loads. A common solution is increase the capacity of thesestructures to carry loads by the introduction of additional tension-carrying materials as Fiber Reinforced Plastic composites. Efficient use of FRP composite to increase the strength of concrete components depends on the proper bonding between the FRPplate and the rehabilitated structure. Hence delamination defects present at the interface or within the composite, should be detected in order to maintain the structural integrity of the reinforced concrete component. However, composites are sophisticatedmaterials with a complex structure and, anisotropic material properties, which are very difficult to inspect using conventional Non Destructive Evaluation (NDE) methods. Thus there is great need for the development of new NDE technologies which can addressthese complicated inspection problem. Physical Acoustics Corporation (PAC) has developed a unique Acousto-Ultrasonic (AU) technology, which has potential as a tool for inspection of FRP composites. This Phase I study will demonstrate the feasibility ofdeveloping a field-portable, battery operated system for the inspection of fiber-reinforce polymer composites based in Acousto-Ultrasonics.It is anticipated that the results of this program will lead to the development a portable fiber-reinforced polymer(FRP) composite inspection and evaluation system that can be used to assess infrastructure composites and other composite in other applications as discussed below. The developed system will have applications for many industries beyond the government andcould be applied to a broad range of industrial and commercial applications. As for the commercial industry, there are many uses for a system to inspect FRP composites, especially in civil infrastructure. Many of these uses and applications carry overinto the military application. The inspection of FRP wrapping, bridge retrofitting etc. are most certainly applicable in the military. In other areas, as the military continues the push to make lighter stronger structures, the use of composites isincreasing and inspection for damage is necessary. Throughout the DoD, composite materials are used in such areas as FRP wound pressure vessels, thick hybrid armor panels, composite stealth materials, ship hulls, etc. The list is large and there arepresently no reliable systems available to inspect these materials. The system we will develop can be adapted to test in these applications.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.