A Portable, Linear-Array Ultrasonic Imaging System for Rapid Inspection of Large-Area Composite Structures

Period of Performance: 01/01/2012 - 12/31/2012

$125K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

X-wave Innovations, Inc.
407 Upshire Circle Array
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Abstract

The use of composites in aircraft manufacturing is growing dramatically. To ensure the integrity of composite structures and bonded joints, a variety of nondestructive evaluation (NDE) technologies have been developed over the past three decades. Among them, the ultrasonic and acoustic based technologies (e.g., ultrasonic C-scan, resonance, mechanical impedance analysis, and tap test) have proven to be successful in many field applications, especially for delamination and disbond inspections. However, most conventional ultrasonic NDE methods are based on point-by-point inspection scheme, which is either subjective in manual operation or time-consuming when a large area needs to be inspected. In this proposal,X-wave Innovations, Inc. (XII) and North Carolina State University (NCSU) propose an innovative linear-array ultrasonic technique for rapid inspection of large-area composite and bonded structures. The success of the proposed effort will result in the development of a novel technique that will provide rapid, reliable, and accurate inspection and evaluation for composite structures and bonded assemblies, as well as an ultrasonic NDE system that is inexpensive, portable, and easy to use. This system will be suitable for field testing of defects (including disband and delamination) in various composite materials and bonded structures