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Proceedings Paper

Eddy current inspection of bonded composite crack repair
Author(s): Thomas K. Smith; Cornelius Guijt; Robert Fredell
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Paper Abstract

The aging of the US aircraft fleet poses serious economic and safety challenges. Fatigue cracks in the 7079-T6 aluminum fuselage skin of aging transports have presented zn opportunity to test a prototype repair. GLARE, a fiber metal laminate, has been applied to repair fuselage cracks in the fuselage skin of a US transport aircraft. This affordable prototype solution to extend the life of aging aircraft requires an inspection method to track crack growth and monitor the effectiveness of the patch on repaired fuselage skin. The fiber metal laminate patch is opaque and the fuselage skin at the damage location generally can only be accessed from the outside surface requiring the use of a non-destructive means to monitor crack length. Advances in eddy current inspection technology have provided a means to detect and track crack growth beneath patches on fuselage skins. This paper describes the development of low-frequency eddy current techniques to monitor cracks under bonded composite repair patches applied to stiffened fuselage structures. The development involved the use of a rugged portable eddy current inspection unit. The results show crack growth can be monitored to ensure the continued structural integrity of repaired flawed structures; however, the influence of substructure present a challenge to the inspector in detecting crack growth.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 November 1996
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 2945, Nondestructive Evaluation of Aging Aircraft, Airports, and Aerospace Hardware, (14 November 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.259104
Show Author Affiliations
Thomas K. Smith, U.S. Air Force Academy (United States)
Cornelius Guijt, U.S. Air Force Academy (United States)
Robert Fredell, U.S. Air Force Academy (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2945:
Nondestructive Evaluation of Aging Aircraft, Airports, and Aerospace Hardware
Raymond D. Rempt; Alfred L. Broz, Editor(s)

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