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Proceedings Paper

Nondestructive evaluation of repairs on aircraft composite structures
Author(s): David K. Hsu; Daniel J. Barnard; John J. Peters
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Paper Abstract

Composite sandwiches have been used widely in flight controls of aircraft for many years; solid laminates have also begun to appear in primary structures such as the empennage. In their normal service life, composite parts may suffer damages and require repair and post-repair inspection. Nondestructive inspection is also needed for many of the rebuilt and refurbished parts in the maintenance, repair and overhaul industry. This paper describes the development of fieldable nondestructive inspection methods and instruments for composite structures and their repairs. For composite sandwiches the method developed is an instrumented tap test using the Computer Aided Tap Test (CATT) system. For repairs in solid laminates, the method used is ultrasonic pulse-echo C-scan using the Dripless Bubbler. The CATT system maps out the repaired region and produces an image of the local stiffness. Such images reveal voids and unbonds in a repair as areas of anomalously low stiffness; it also maps out areas of increased stiffness due to core potting and splicing. A number of examples of composite repairs inspected with the CATT system will be described. For engineered flaws in solid laminate repair panels from Boeing, scan images obtained with the Dripless Bubbler as a function of depth will be shown.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 August 2001
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4336, Nondestructive Evaluation of Materials and Composites V, (3 August 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.435554
Show Author Affiliations
David K. Hsu, Iowa State Univ. (United States)
Daniel J. Barnard, Iowa State Univ. (United States)
John J. Peters, Iowa State Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4336:
Nondestructive Evaluation of Materials and Composites V
George Y. Baaklini; Eric S. Boltz; Steven M. Shepard; Peter J. Shull, Editor(s)

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