Numerical modelling as a cost-reduction tool for probability of detection of bolt hole eddy current testing

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Journal titleNondestructive Testing and Evaluation
Pages5766; # of pages: 10
SubjectAir Force; Bolt holes; Boundary elements; C-130 Hercules; Crack geometries; Critical component; Eddy current signals; Electrical conductivity; Empirical investigation; Inspection intervals; Life estimation; Lockheed Martin; Non destructive inspection; Non destructive testing; Numerical modelling; Numerical simulation; Orion aircraft; Physics-based; POD analysis; probability of detection; Probe characteristics; Probe frequency; Reduction tools; Simplifying assumptions; Simulated data; Statistical assessment; Test pieces; Wing box; Work Focus; Bolts; Computer simulation; Cost reduction; Damage detection; Eddy currents; Electric conductivity; Forecasting; Numerical methods; Probes; Signal detection; Eddy current testing
AbstractProbability of detection (PoD) studies are broadly used to determine the reliability of specific nondestructive inspection procedures, as well as to provide data for damage tolerance life estimations and calculation of inspection intervals for critical components. They require inspections on a large set of samples, a fact that makes these statistical assessments time- and cost-consuming. Physics-based numerical simulations of nondestructive testing inspections could be used as a cost-effective alternative to empirical investigations. They realistically predict the inspection outputs as functions of the input characteristics related to the test piece, transducer and instrument settings, which are subsequently used to partially substitute and/or complement inspection data in PoD analysis. This work focuses on the numerical modelling aspects of eddy current testing for the bolt hole inspections of wing box structures typical of the Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules and P-3 Orion aircraft, found in the air force inventory of many countries. Boundary element-based numerical modelling software was employed to predict the eddy current signal responses when varying inspection parameters related to probe characteristics, crack geometry and test piece properties. Two demonstrator exercises were used for eddy current signal prediction when lowering the driver probe frequency and changing the material's electrical conductivity, followed by subsequent discussions and examination of the implications on using simulated data in the PoD analysis. Despite some simplifying assumptions, the modelled eddy current signals were found to provide similar results to the actual inspections. It is concluded that physics-based numerical simulations have the potential to partially substitute or complement inspection data required for PoD studies, reducing the cost, time, effort and resources necessary for a full empirical PoD assessment. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.
Publication date
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); Aerospace (AERO-AERO)
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21271106
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Record identifierb325e3ca-481f-4cf8-893c-2ffb4ef86373
Record created2014-03-24
Record modified2016-05-09
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