Nondestructive Inspection (NDI) of Small-Diameter Tubing

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
Navy
Amount:
$750,000.00
Award Year:
2006
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
N68335-06-C-0243
Award Id:
75046
Agency Tracking Number:
N051-007-0172
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
44 Hunt Street, Watertown, MA, 02472
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
073804411
Principal Investigator:
Timothy Tiernan
Group Leader, Senior Scie
(617) 668-6801
ttiernan@rmdinc.com
Business Contact:
Gerald Entine
President
(617) 668-6801
gentine@rmdinc.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
New technology is needed for the nondestructive inspection (NDI) of microscopic defects in the thin-wall, titanium alloy hydraulic lines used on aircraft. Once mounted on an aircraft, these tubes are difficult to access externally, making inspection of the tube from the inside the most practical method for NDI. The Navy has identified a specific need for the NDI of titanium tubing with diameters ranging from 0.25 to 0.75 inches. The defects are micro-cracks with depth dimensions of 0.5 to 1.0 mils in tubing with wall thickness that is typically 22.5 mils. These defects are exceedingly small and will require new technology for dependable detection. RMD proposes a new inspection technology based on high resolution, 3-D imaging of magnetic fields induced in titanium tubing to locate and characterize microscopic defects. The proposed NDI system will use a new sensor technology to produce an advanced sensor array with minute elements measuring only 3 microns (0.1 mils). An array of microscopically small "zig-zag", magnetoresistive (MR) sensor elements will detect and map variations in induced magnetic fields caused by micro-cracks in titanium tubes measuring 0.5 mils. The proposed sensors have high bandwidth, >1 GHz, for exceptionally high speed scanning and inspection. The sensors are fabricated on silicon that is compatible with high volume, low cost production with integrated amplifiers and signal processing circuitry on the same chip. The technology can analyze and image defects in true 3-D. RMD has assembled a strong research team with substantial experience in sensor and instrumentation design and fabrication. Previous research by the PI and his collaborators has established a foundation for the development of the proposed new technology for NDI of microscopic defects.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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