Detection of Flaws Under Thermal Barrier Coatings Repairs

Period of Performance: 03/31/2000 - 12/31/2000

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Quest Integrated, Inc.
19823 58th Place S
Kent, WA 98032
Principal Investigator

Abstract

QUEST Integrated, Inc., proposes the development of a Thermal Analysis Microscope (TAM) based system for the identification of flaws located under Thermal Barrier Coatings (TBC). Use of this technology will enable in-situ inspection of various flaws such as cracks on the turbine blades and delamination between the TBC and the bond coating without the need to remove the existing TBC. In Phase I, we will determine the feasibility of the thermal analysis microscopy to identify flaws located under TBCs on test coupons. To verify the performance of this technology, advanced waterjets will be used to remove the existing TBC on the coupons without damaging the underlying substrate material. Once the TBC has been removed, conventional means will then be employed to identify existing flaws and these data will be compared to TAM imagery. We will also define a conceptual standalone system for demonstrating this technology with actual in-situ systems. This device will provide the DoD and NASA with an accurate cost-effective, and safe nondestructive inspection method to identify flaws underneath Thermal Barrier Coatings. The commercial applications include in-situ sub-coating flaw detection in a number of industries including aerospace, automotive, and shipping.