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24 July 2001 Laser-ultrasonic detection of hidden corrosion in aircraft structure
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Abstract
Corrosion has been recognized as a serious problem in the maintenance of aging aircraft. The Industrial Materials Institute (IMI) has explored the use of laser-ultrasonics for the detection of hidden corrosion in metallic lap joint structures. For inspection with painted surfaces, IMI has shown that a resonance spectroscopy approach using a simple two-layer model can be used to determine the thickness of the paint layer and of the top metal skin. Validation of the model has been made using a test sample with a broad range of paint thickness. Once combined with a numerical inversion method, the model is used to produce a thickness map of the top metal skin from measured resonance frequencies. Results from standard samples with flat-bottom holes showed that the laser-ultrasonic technique could detect metal loss below 1%. The reliability of the method was also demonstrated on accelerated corrosion samples. Comparison to X-ray images showed that the laser-ultrasonic method presented a thickness map that had the same accuracy as the X-ray system without the need for dismantling the sample. These results indicated that laser-ultrasonics could be a useful tool not only to inspect aircraft during routine maintenance but also to provide valuable data in the study of corrosion inception and growth in lap joint structures.
© (2001) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Daniel Levesque, M. Massabki, Marc Choquet, Christian Neron, N. C. Bellinger, David S. Forsyth, C. E. Chapman, Ronald W. Gould, Jerzy P. Komorowski, and Jean-Pierre Monchalin "Laser-ultrasonic detection of hidden corrosion in aircraft structure", Proc. SPIE 4335, Advanced Nondestructive Evaluation for Structural and Biological Health Monitoring, (24 July 2001); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.434184
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