|TWI will be showcasing its cutting edge aerospace inspection technologies at Europe’s leading conference and exhibition MRO 2015 later this month.
The organisation’s Port Talbot based Technology Centre is set to join Welsh Aerospace and the Welsh Government at the Excel in London launch to provide live demonstrations of advanced non-destructive testing techniques. They include full matrix capture (FMC), and virtual source aperture (VSA) and the latest advancements in automated inspection enabling accurate and detailed inspection of components with complex geometry.
According to Regional Manager Philip Wallace, exhibiting at the MRO Europe 2015 event is an opportunity to display the Centre’s innovative inspection tools to a wider audience and engage with a wide range of industry contacts and potential customers, who are looking to overcome the inspection challenges faced by the aerospace industry.
Mr Wallace said, ‘TWI Technology Centre (Wales) is at the forefront of advanced ultrasonic and robotic inspection. By bringing our latest developments to this event we can demonstrate our capabilities. We are able to perform real-time inspection with FMC and provide fully calibrated B, C, and D-scan visualisation. The software is able to cope with complex curvature and internal anisotropy such as that found in composite and additive manufactured components. We have also invested three years of research and development into driving down the cost of inspecting aerospace components made from composite materials. The automated inspection system uses in-house developed, highly advanced UT technology to provide 3D imaging of parts that in many cases could not be inspected in any other way.’
Full matrix capture
TWI’s latest innovation is full matrix capture (FMC) – an advanced ultrasonic technique developed as an evolution of phased array ultrasonic testing. While conventional phased array uses complex focal laws to steer and focus sound beams to a specific point in a component, FMC is able to focus simultaneously on every point within an area of interest, generating a clear, accurate image of the component.
FMC can be used on complex curved surfaces and runs on TWI-developed advanced processing algorithms that produce immediate results at up to 100 frames per second. Intuitive 3D viewing software makes analysis quick and easy, and data are stored for more detailed offline analysis.
Virtual source aperture
Virtual Source Aperture (VSA) is a cutting-edge ultrasound imaging technique, where an array transducer is used to emulate the sound field that would be produced by a virtual point source. This method uses fewer firings than an equivalent FMC inspection, dramatically reducing inspection times while suffering very little degradation in image quality.
TWI has developed a highly capable automated inspection system suited to both research and development and production inspection for use in Aerospace examination and Inspection of composites and fibre -reinforced components. There are many benefits to this system for example; Fast inspection speeds, the Inspection of complex geometry, automated defect detection and High inspection productivity. The IntACOM programme is a series of projects aimed at reducing the cost of inspection of complex geometry components for the aerospace industry.
TWI has teamed up with aerospace industry partners and the Welsh government to tackle inspection challenges faced by the Aerospace industry, focusing on three areas, to be able to increase throughput and reliability, and reduce cost.
- Automation: no more need for scanning by hand, as imported CAD data allows full robotic inspection
- Advanced ultrasonic techniques: ultrasonic arrays allow fast, accurate inspection of curved, complex shapes
- Enhanced scan imaging: bespoke software produces 3D images of parts and flaws using combination of CAD data and inspection results
The MRO Europe Exhibition takes place 14 to 15 October 2015. TWI will be exhibiting at the Welsh Government Stand 126.
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TWI Ltd (The Welding Institute)