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NDT.net Issue - 2019-03 - Articles
NDT.net Issue: 2019-03
Publication: 10th International Symposium on NDT in Aerospace, Oct 2018, Dresden, Germany (AeroNDT 2018)
Session: Ultrasonics 2

Airborne testing of molded polymer compounds

Daniel Kotschate15, Saskia Wendland2, Mate Gaal43
Akustische und Elektromagnetische Verfahren,Ultraschallsonderprüftechniken; BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing1326, Berlin, Germany

Abstract: Modern and energy-efficient materials are essential for innovative designs for aerospace and automotive industries. Current technologies for rapid manufacturing such as additive manufacturing and liquid composite molding by polymer extrusion allow innovative ways of creating robust and lightweight constructions. Commercially available printing devices often use polylactide (PLA) or acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) as raw material. Therefore, parameters like the infill ratio, influencing the ability to resist mechanical stress, may have a beneficial impact on the lifetime of components. These manufacturing technologies require a good knowledge about materials and even adapted non-destructive testing technologies and methods. Airborne ultrasonic testing has beneficial advantages for testing those lightweight constructions. It is a contact-free testing method, which does not require a liquid couplant. Therefore, it allows fast test cycles without any unwanted alternations of the material properties due to interactions with any coupling liquid. This contribution deals with the characterisation of printed specimens based on PLA by using airborne ultrasound and presents the current edge of non-destructive testing and evaluation using airborne ultrasonic transducers. The specimens, manufactured by polymer extrusion, are printed as thin plates. The infill ratio, as well as the material thickness, were varied to model density imperfections with different geometric shapes and properties. For better understanding of the limits of airborne ultrasonic testing in transmission, we compared own-developed transducers based on different physical principles: on ferroelectrets, on the thermoacoustic effect, as well as a new type of transducers based on gas discharges.

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