Nondestructive Inspection Technique for Detecting Defects in Metal Matrix Composites

Period of Performance: 12/05/2003 - 12/05/2005

$729K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Physical Acoustics Corp.
195 Clarksville Road
Princeton Jct., NJ 08550
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The objective of this Phase II program is to develop a prototype system to nondestructively detect and assess the presence of porosity in Al/SiC wear inserts in cast Al Tank Track Shoes using eddy current technique. This prototype system should also be capable of detecting the presence of debonds between the Al/SiC wear inserts and the cast Al base metal based in ultrasonic techniques. We plan to procure Al/SiC MMC, cast Aluminum with Al/SiC MMC inserts, and complete TTS samples from a supplier of MMC components. Some of these samples will contain controlled levels of porosity, cracks and debonds, while others will be free of defects. All the samples will be inspected using the ultrasonic and EC techniques and the results of the inspection will be used to establish the defect assessment parameters. Once this parameters have been established, they will be used to determine pass/fail criteria that will be incorporated into the prototype inspection system. An effort will be made to integrate analysis tools into the system software. Additionally, results from the sample inspections will serve as a database for potential use of the technology as a quality assurance tool during manufacturing.