A Damage-Assessment and Temperature-Measurement System Suitable for Thermo-Structural Testing of Composite Materials

Period of Performance: 09/23/1993 - 01/23/1996

$941K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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

Research Topics

Abstract

Advanced aerospace programs require materials that maintain strength and dimensional stability over a range of dynamic thermal and mechanical loads. These programs have spurred the development of new high-temperature materials including intermetallics, continuous fiber-reinforced ceramics, and metal matrix composites. Typically, these materials must undergo thermal and/or mechanical fatigue testing to establish lifetime estimates. Traditional test-monitoring texhniques are labor intensive and fail to capture localized strain or temperature gradients that drive the fatigue failure process. During Phase I, we demonstrated an infrared imaging technique to measure crack growth, temperature, and strain for materials undergoing thermo-structural testing. Based on these results, we propose to develop a high-resolution infrared imaging system that would automatically capture time sequence of images during thermo-structural testing. These images would be processed in real time to extract crack length and surface maps of the temperature and strain distribution. Information from this system would be transmitted to a laboratory host computer for assimilation with other test data. Measurement rates approaching the mechanical fatigue frequency are possible.