Determination of Microcracking Damage in Composites

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
Air Force
Amount:
$100,000.00
Award Year:
2003
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
F33615-03-M-5605
Agency Tracking Number:
F031-1116
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
SOUTHWEST SCIENCES, INC.
1570 Pacheco Street, Suite E-11, Santa Fe, NM, 87505
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
153579891
Principal Investigator:
Andrei Vakhtin
Senior Research Scientist
(505) 984-1322
avakhtin@swsciences.com
Business Contact:
Alan Stanton
President
(505) 984-1322
astanton@swsciences.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
There is a need for the nondestructive diagnosis of micro-cracking in the composite skin of a honeycomb sandwich structure used in aircraft and space systems. We propose to use Differential Spectral Interferometry (DSI) as a noninvasive tool to quantifythe location and depth of micro-cracking in the composite skin. In DSI, the sample is irradiated with infrared light, which penetrates into the material. The back-scattered light, when combined with the reference light beam in the interferometer, producesan interference spectral fringe pattern - interferogram - that contains the depth information. The high dynamic range of DSI allows testing of materials which are opaque as seen by eye. We expect that the DSI method can be implemented in a relativelysimple and compact instrument, which can be used independently, or in combination with currently used inspection methods, such as ultrasound techniques. The market is sales of the instrument to the military and commercial organizations for inspection ofmicro-cracking damage in parts and structures made of composite materials. Benefits include enhanced aircraft safety and cost savings resulting from improved quality control during development and manufacture of composite parts and materials.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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