NDT.net Oct 2005, Vol. 10 No.10

Inspection of Composite Material Parts Using Phased Array Technology

August 2005 -- The intensive use of composite materials in today’s aerospace industry requires a fast and reliable ultrasonic technique to detect material and structure defects such as de-laminations, porosity, inclusions, etc.

Until recently, most fabricators were implementing ultrasonic inspection techniques with a single conventional probe, or for higher productivity, a group of conventional probes.

By using inspection technique based on ultrasonic arrays, ScanMaster can now provide systems, which improve productivity and reduce scanner complexity and wear out.

This application includes real time imaging including volumetric views such as B-scan, C-scan, D-scan and sizing, as well as location, of the defect.

The phased array inspection can be performed using immersion, contact or semi-immersion technique and may be integrated into ScanMaster standard or customer-fit automated scanners.

Typical example is the inspection of I-shaped airplane structure profile built of Gr/Ep. This application uses a phased array probe of 128 elements, by which a whole volume of the part can be scanned in only three passes.

Typical productivity for such applications can be as much as 30,000 mm˛/sec, which is about 30 times the productivity when using a single conventional probe.

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