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Proceedings Paper

Applications for thermal NDT on advanced composites in aerospace structures
Author(s): Steve R. Baughman
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Paper Abstract

Following several years of investigating active thermal imaging techniques, Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems Company (LMASC) has introduced a portable, time-dependent thermography (TDT) system into the production inspection environment. Originally pursued as a rapid, non-contacting, nondestructive evaluation (NDE) tool for inspecting large surface areas, the TDT system has proven most useful as a rapid verification tool on advanced composite assemblies. TDT is a relatively new NDE methodology as compared to conventional ultrasonic and radiography testing. SEveral technical issues are being addressed as confidence in the system's capabilities increase. These include inspector training and certification, system sensitivity assessments, and test results interpretation. Starting in 1991, LMASC began a beta-site evaluation of a prototype TDT system developed by the Institute of Manufacturing Research at Wayne State University. This prototype was the forerunner of the current production system, which is offered commercially as a fully integrated thermal NDE system. Applications investigated to data include quality assurance of advanced aerospace composite structures/assemblies for disbonds/voids between skin and core. TDT has a number of advantages over traditional NDT methods. The process of acquiring thermal images is fast, and can decrease inspection time required to locate suspect areas. The system also holds promise for depot level inspections due to its portability. This paper describes a systematic approach to implementing TDT into the production inspection arena.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 March 1998
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3361, Thermosense XX, (26 March 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.304742
Show Author Affiliations
Steve R. Baughman, Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems Co. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3361:
Thermosense XX
John R. Snell; Richard Norman Wurzbach, Editor(s)

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