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Proceedings Paper

NDI of aircraft fuselage structures using the Dripless Bubbler ultrasonic scanner
Author(s): Daniel J. Barnard; David K. Hsu
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Paper Abstract

A need exists in airline maintenance for a method of producing high quality, easily interpreted images that provides details on the soundness of aircraft fuselage structures. The 'dripless bubbler' technique combines the use of broadband focused-beam ultrasonic immersion transducers with a method of maintaining a contained, bubble-free water pool. The use of the dripless bubbler, when combined with a portable robotic scanner and data acquisition system, produces ultrasonic C-scan and B-scan images for evaluating the extent of corrosion within lap and butt joints and ont he interior of fuselage skins. Also easily identifiable are disbonds in the skin-to-structure adhesive joints and delamination type defects in composite structures. The high image quality is not affected when scanning over surface irregularities; the dripless bubbler can be scanned over button-head rivets and lap splices with minimal change in transducer orientation and no loss of couplant.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 November 1996
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2945, Nondestructive Evaluation of Aging Aircraft, Airports, and Aerospace Hardware, (14 November 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.259116
Show Author Affiliations
Daniel J. Barnard, Iowa State Univ. (United States)
David K. Hsu, Iowa State Univ. (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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