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7 July 1995 Mapping hidden aircraft defects with dual-band infrared computed tomography
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Infrared computed tomography (IRCT) is a promising, non-contact, nondestructive evaluation tool used to inspect the mechanical integrity of large structures. We describe on-site, proof-of- principle demonstrations of IRCT to inspect defective metallic and composite structures. The IRCT system captures time sequences of heat-stimulated, dual-band infrared (DBIR) thermal maps for flash-heated and naturally heated targets. Our VIEW algorithms produce co- registered thermal, thermal inertia, and thermal-timegram maps from which we quantify the percent metal-loss corrosion damage for airframes and the defect sites, depths, and host- material physical properties for composite structures. The IRCT method clarifies the type of defect, e.g., corrosion, fabrication, foreign-material insert, delamination, unbond, void, and quantifies the amount of damage from the defect, e.g., the percent metal-loss from corrosion in metal structures, the depth, thickness, and areal extent of heat damage in multi-layered composite materials. Potential long-term benefits of IRCT technology are in-service monitoring of incipient corrosion damage, to avoid catastrophic failure, and production- monitoring of cure states for composite materials.
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Nancy DelGrande and Philip F. Durbin "Mapping hidden aircraft defects with dual-band infrared computed tomography", Proc. SPIE 2455, Nondestructive Evaluation of Aging Aircraft, Airports, Aerospace Hardware, and Materials, (7 July 1995);

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