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Proceedings Paper

Laser-ultrasonic detection of hidden corrosion in aircraft structure
Author(s): Daniel Levesque; M. Massabki; Marc Choquet; Christian Neron; N. C. Bellinger; David S. Forsyth; C. E. Chapman; Ronald W. Gould; Jerzy P. Komorowski; Jean-Pierre Monchalin
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Paper Abstract

Corrosion has been recognized as a serious problem in the maintenance of aging aircraft. The Industrial Materials Institute (IMI) has explored the use of laser-ultrasonics for the detection of hidden corrosion in metallic lap joint structures. For inspection with painted surfaces, IMI has shown that a resonance spectroscopy approach using a simple two-layer model can be used to determine the thickness of the paint layer and of the top metal skin. Validation of the model has been made using a test sample with a broad range of paint thickness. Once combined with a numerical inversion method, the model is used to produce a thickness map of the top metal skin from measured resonance frequencies. Results from standard samples with flat-bottom holes showed that the laser-ultrasonic technique could detect metal loss below 1%. The reliability of the method was also demonstrated on accelerated corrosion samples. Comparison to X-ray images showed that the laser-ultrasonic method presented a thickness map that had the same accuracy as the X-ray system without the need for dismantling the sample. These results indicated that laser-ultrasonics could be a useful tool not only to inspect aircraft during routine maintenance but also to provide valuable data in the study of corrosion inception and growth in lap joint structures.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 July 2001
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 4335, Advanced Nondestructive Evaluation for Structural and Biological Health Monitoring, (24 July 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.434184
Show Author Affiliations
Daniel Levesque, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
M. Massabki, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
Marc Choquet, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
Christian Neron, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
N. C. Bellinger, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
David S. Forsyth, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
C. E. Chapman, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
Ronald W. Gould, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
Jerzy P. Komorowski, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
Jean-Pierre Monchalin, National Research Council Canada (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4335:
Advanced Nondestructive Evaluation for Structural and Biological Health Monitoring
Tribikram Kundu, Editor(s)

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