Improved magneto-optic methods for aircraft corrosion detection

Period of Performance: 09/29/2009 - 09/28/2011

$747K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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

Abstract

ABSTRACT: Corrosion under multi-layer structures is a significant problem for the Air Force. The ability to detect this corrosion rapidly over a large area is also very important. The Magneto-Optic Imager (MOI) is an eddy current visualization tool that has been accepted in the market and has demonstrated the ability to rapidly inspect large areas. The principle application of the MOI within the Air Force and the commercial airline market has been for first and second layer crack detection. QUEST plans to develop a new version of the MOI that will detect corrosion and cracks buried deeper in multi-layer structures. This new version will also provide enhanced visualization that will allow easier interpretation of the eddy current images resulting from corrosion. This can also improve the POD capability of existing systems. BENEFIT: We anticipate the development of a new inspection tool optimized for detection of corrosion under multiple layers approaching 0.5 inch thick. In addition to the military aircraft applications, similar problems exist within the commercial airline industry. The technology also has application in the energy sector for detecting stress corrosion cracks in transport pipelines. This is of significant interest from both a safety and a reliability perspective.