Rapid and Conformable Field Repair and Nondestructive Evaluation of Rotor Blade Skins and Honeycomb in Blade Afterbody
Small Business Information
845 Livernois Street, Ferndale, MI, 48220
AbstractN07-118 Rapid and Conformable Field Repair and NDE of Rotor Blade Skins and Honeycomb in Blade Afterbody The integration of composite materials into modern military aircraft has provided numerous benefits to the armed forces due to superior strength-to-weight performance and corrosion immunity. However, when compared to their metallic predecessors, composite components present significant challenges in terms of maintenance and repair. The NDI situation has become far more complex with the deployment of composite-based aircraft. Older techniques such as tap testing are slow and are unable to detect all inner-layer and skin to core disbonds. Active thermography has already been proven as a rapid and reliable inspection technique for such applications. In the following Phase I proposal, Thermal Wave Imaging will attempt to distill the advances made in thermographic NDI into an instrument that addresses the cost, size and complexity of the current technology. We will exploit the hardware and signal processing advances made in flash (pulsed) thermography, and apply these to a small, low-cost instrument that is truly handheld and self-contained. The user interface for control and presentation of results will reside on the unit, so that the operator will not interact with a computer.
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