19 April 2017 Prognostic investigation of galvanic corrosion precursors in aircraft structures and their detection strategy
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Abstract
Aluminum alloys have been the dominant materials for aerospace construction in the past fifty years due to their light weight, forming and alloying, and relative low cost in comparison to titanium and composites. However, in recent years, carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRPs) and honeycomb materials have been used in aircrafts in the quest to attain lower weight, high temperature resistance, and better fuel efficiency. When these two materials are coupled together, the structural strength of the aircraft is unparalleled, but this comes at a price, namely galvanic corrosion. Previous experimental results have shown that when CFRP composite materials are joined with high strength aluminum alloys (AA7075-T6 or AA2024-T3), galvanic corrosion occurs at the material interfaces, and the aluminum is in greater danger of corroding, particularly since carbon and aluminum are on the opposite ends of the galvanic series. In this paper, we explore the occurrence of the recognizable precursors of galvanic corrosion when CFRP plate is coupled to an aluminum alloy using SS-304 bolts and exposed to environmental degradation, which creates significant concerns for aircraft structural reliability. The galvanic corrosion software package, BEASY, is used to simulate the growth of corrosion in the designed specimen after which a microwave non-destructive testing (NDT) technique is explored to detect corrosion defects that appear at the interface of this galvanic couple. This paper also explores a loaded waveguide technique to determine the dielectric constant of the final corrosion product at the Q-band millimeter-wave frequency range (33-50 GHz), as this can be an invaluable asset in developing early detection strategies.
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Robin James, Tae Hee Kim, Ram M. Narayanan, "Prognostic investigation of galvanic corrosion precursors in aircraft structures and their detection strategy", Proc. SPIE 10169, Nondestructive Characterization and Monitoring of Advanced Materials, Aerospace, and Civil Infrastructure 2017, 101690C (19 April 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2259797; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2259797
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