Nondestructive Taper-Lok Fastener Hole Inspection Without Fastener Removal for Thick, Multi-Layer Structures

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-04-M-5601
Agency Tracking Number: F041-134-0240
Amount: $99,920.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: AF04-134
Solicitation Number: 2004.1
Small Business Information
6151 N. Discovery Way, Boise, ID, 83713
DUNS: 054961896
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Doug Akers
 Technology Director
 (208) 520-6269
Business Contact
 Curt Rideout
Title: Manager, Marketing and Sales
Phone: (208) 672-1923
Research Institution
The ability to detect cracks within Taper-Lok fastener holes associated with thick, multi-layer wing structures without removing the fastener presents significant challenges to existing nondestructive inspection technologies. Critical fastener hole inspections for sections of the B-1B wing structures require removal of the Taper-Lok fasteners followed by eddy current inspection, at a cost projected at $1 million per aircraft. These widely-deployed aircraft have been facing unanticipated near-term fatigue inspections of flight critical areas on the wings and wing carry through locations due to extensive operations beyond predicted. A new, advanced Nondestructive Inspection technology, Photon Induced Positron Annihilation (PIPA) has demonstrated the capability for thick, multi-layer damage detection and could enable rapid, low-cost inspection of B-1B wing structures without removal of the Taper-Loks, limiting risk to the aircraft structure. PIPA is capable of multi-layer analysis and measurement of fatigue, pre-cracking, and micro-cracks in metal alloys at a much earlier stage and with far better accuracy than any other technology, and can perform in-situ measurements on otherwise inaccessible structures, such as the multi-layer B-1B wing configuration. The basis for this project is to validate Positron Systems' new material inspection technology to detect operational fatigue damage in representative B-1B wing splice configurations.

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

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