Detection and Imaging of Inclusions and Planar Flaws in Titanium Castings Including Weld Repaired Regions

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


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Jentek Sensors, Inc.
110-1 Clematis Avenue Array
Waltham, MA 02453
Principal Investigator


Flaws in the near-surface region of titanium castings, including weld repairs, are likely to serve as fatigue initiation sites, and therefore, can affect the component structural integrity. Thus, near-surface region requirements are more severe than in the bulk. JENTEK's imaging MWM-Arrays with grid inversion methods are proposed for detection and quantitative assessment of inclusions, deleterious surface alpha (with an objective to eliminate the need for costly "blue etch" inspection), cracks, and lack of fusion within the near-surface regions up to the first 2.5 mm. The proposed capability will complement proven X-ray and phased-array ultrasonics that have sensitivity limitations in the near-surface region. JENTEK has demonstrated reliable crack detection in fretted regions in titanium engine disks, detection and sizing of alpha case, and contamination assessment of titanium welds. Using imaging MWM-Arrays with model-based measurement grids, JENTEK will focus in Phase I on adaptation of MWM-Arrays and imaging algorithms, and on demonstration of performance on titanium samples provided by Boeing. In Phase II, JENTEK will (1) develop fieldable procedures for detection of inclusions in titanium castings and planar flaws in weld repairs; (2) deliver a portable prototype GridStation system for inspection of castings; and (3) develop enhancements in sizing and imaging. Successful completion of this program will provide the U.S. Air Force with a new tool to ensure structural integrity of cast titanium components in aircraft structures. It will provide reliable and efficient detection of relevant flaws in the near-surface region where focussed-array ultrasonics may not be an adequate tool for this application. Commercial applications for imaging of inclusions and planar flaws will also benefit.