Laser-ultrasonic detection of hidden corrosion in aircraft structure

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1117/12.434184
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TypeArticle
Proceedings titleSPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering. Proceedings
ConferenceAdvanced Nondestructive Evaluation for Structural and Biological Health Monitoring, Mar. 6-8, 2001, Newport Beach, CA
ISSN0277-786X
Volume4335
Pages280289; # of pages: 10
SubjectCorrosion; Inspection; Joints (structural components); Laser applications; Maintenance; Natural frequencies; Numerical methods; Spectroscopy; Ultrasonic applications; X rays; Aircraft structure; Laser ultrasonic detection; Metallic lap joint structures; Numerical inversion method; Resonance spectroscopy; Aircraft parts and equipment
AbstractCorrosion has been recognized as a serious problem in the maintenance of aging aircraft. The Industrial Materials Institute (IMI) has explored the use of laser-ultrasonics for the detection of hidden corrosion in metallic lap joint structures. For inspection with painted surfaces, IMI has shown that a resonance spectroscopy approach using a simple two-layer model can be used to determine the thickness of the paint layer and of the top metal skin. Validation of the model has been made using a test sample with a broad range of paint thickness. Once combined with a numerical inversion method, the model is used to produce a thickness map of the top metal skin from measured resonance frequencies. Results from standard samples with flat-bottom holes showed that the laser-ultrasonic technique could detect metal loss below 1%. The reliability of the method was also demonstrated on accelerated corrosion samples. Comparison to X-ray images showed that the laser-ultrasonic method presented a thickness map that had the same accuracy as the X-ray system without the need for dismantling the sample. These results indicated that laser-ultrasonics could be a useful tool not only to inspect aircraft during routine maintenance but also to provide valuable data in the study of corrosion inception and growth in lap joint structures.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNRC Industrial Materials Institute; NRC Institute for Aerospace Research; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21275962
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Record identifier7d3a8273-d1b3-4cfe-98ae-1bace087b9fd
Record created2015-08-21
Record modified2017-04-24
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