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Proceedings Paper

Investigating the use of ultrasonic guided waves for aging wire insulation assessment
Author(s): Robert F. Anastasi; Eric I. Madaras
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Paper Abstract

Aging wiring has become a critical issue to DoD, NASA, FAA, and Industry. The problem is that insulation on environmentally aged wire becomes brittle and cracks. This exposes the underlying conductive wire to the potential for short circuits and fire. The difficulty is that techniques to monitor aging wire problems focus on applying electrical sensing techniques that are not very sensitive to the wire insulation. Thus, the development of methods to quantify and monitor aging wire insulation is highly warranted. Measurement of wire insulation stiffness by ultrasonic guided waves is being examined. Initial laboratory tests were performed on a simple model consisting of a solid cylinder and then a solid cylinder with a polymer coating. Experimental measurements showed that the lowest order axisymmetric mode may be sensitive to stiffness changes in the wire insulation. To test this theory, mil-spec wire samples MIL-W-81381, MIL-W-22759/34, and MIL-W-22759/87 (typically found in aircraft) were heat-damaged in an oven, in a range of heating conditions. The samples were 12, 16, and 20 gauge and the heat-damage introduced material changes in the wire-insulation that made the originally flexible insulation brittle and darker in color. Axisymmetric mode phase-velocity increased for the samples that were exposed to heat for longer duration. For example, the phase velocity in the 20-gauge MIL-W-22759/34 wire changed from a baseline value of 2790m/s to 3280m/s and 3530m/s for one-hour exposures to 349 degree(s)C and 399 degree(s)C, respectively. Although the heat-damage conditions are not the same as environmental aging, we believe that with further development and refinements, the ultrasonic guided waves can be used to inspect wire-insulation for detrimental environmental aging conditions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 June 2002
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 4702, Smart Nondestructive Evaluation for Health Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems, (11 June 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.469912
Show Author Affiliations
Robert F. Anastasi, Army Research Lab. (United States)
Eric I. Madaras, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4702:
Smart Nondestructive Evaluation for Health Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems
Tribikram Kundu, Editor(s)

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