28 March 2006 Ultrasonic imaging of hidden defects using dry-coupled ultrasonic probes
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Abstract
Safety criteria of aircraft industry require careful inspection of aircraft components for structural integrity since airworthiness of aging aircraft can be significantly affected by combination of corrosion and fatigue damage. Surface defects can be efficiently detected by visual or other surface inspection techniques. Detection of hidden defects, on the other hand, is still a challenging task. Therefore, it is essential to develop non-destructive methods that can inspect different layers of the aircraft structures for internal defects before they become a safety concern. Ultrasonic probes with the dry-coupled substrates are highly efficient for all modalities of ultrasonic techniques including pulse-echo, pitch-catch, or through-transmission modes. The probes can be deployed in conjunction with portable ultrasonic instruments for B- and C-scanning. The dry-coupled probes have already been tested on a number of aircraft for rapid inspections of the aircraft structures from the outside without any disassembly. However, adequate inspection for small pitting corrosion and incipient fatigue cracks in metallic structures or delaminations in composite panels may require superior sensitivity and resolution of the applied ultrasonic technique. Several novel configurations of the dry-coupled probes with increased sensitivity and resolution will be presented. Ultrasonic imaging with single- or double-element dry-coupled probes will be demonstrated on the specimens with heavy pitting corrosion, machined planar and volumetric defects, and embedded internal flaws.
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Igor N. Komsky, Igor N. Komsky, "Ultrasonic imaging of hidden defects using dry-coupled ultrasonic probes", Proc. SPIE 6177, Health Monitoring and Smart Nondestructive Evaluation of Structural and Biological Systems V, 61770M (28 March 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.658873; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.658873
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