Nondestructive Evaluation of Composite Core Structures (MSC P0B16-901)

Period of Performance: 05/13/1999 - 11/12/1999


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Materials Sciences Corp.
135 Rock Road Array
Horsham, PA 19044
Principal Investigator


Multifunctional cored composites have created the opportunity to design lighter, environmentally resistant and stealthier structures for use in the topside Navy. Typical multilayer applications, such as for the AEM/S, LPD 17 and DD21 platforms have challenged both the structural designer in defining what constitutes a critical structural anomaly, and the nondestructive evaluation (NDE) engineer to find where that critical flaw has occurred. Traditional techniques have had limited success in detecting and quantifying these structural anomalies and providing a cost-effective, timely approach to inspecting very large areas of structure. This proposal will address both of these issues. The innovation and opportunity offered in this proposal is to assemble a diverse team of material developers, composite designers, and nondestructive inspection technology experts into an Integrated Product Team (IPT) for the purpose of developing a solution that will address several levels of topside NDE simultaneously. We are proposing to change the paradigm of NDE in topside structures to allow for the definition, a priori, of quantifiable damage in composite materials. This will allow for the real time disposition of a composite structure, and provide to the Naval community a methodology and suite of inspection capabilities to maintain composite materials in the fleet.