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13 April 2011 Aircraft components structural health monitoring using flexible ultrasonic transducer arrays
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A damage detection capability based on a flexible ultrasonic transducer (FUT) array bonded onto a planar and a curved surface is presented. The FUT array was fabricated on a 75 μm titanium substrate using sol-gel spray technique. Room temperature curable adhesive is used as the bonding agent and ultrasonic couplant between the transducer and the test article. The bonding agent was successfully tested for aircraft environmental temperatures between -80 °C and 100 °C. For a planar test article, selected FUT arrays were able to detect fasteners damage within a planar distance of 176 mm, when used in the pulse-echo mode. Such results illustrate the effectiveness of the developed FUT transducer as compared to commercial 10MHz ultrasonic transducer (UT). These FUT arrays were further demonstrated on a curved test article. Pulse-echo measurements confirmed the reflected echoes from the specimen. Such measurement was not possible with commercial UTs due to the curved nature of the test article and its accessibility, thus demonstrating the suitability and superiority of the developed flexible ultrasonic transducer capability.
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W.-L. Liu, C.-K. Jen, M. Kobayashi, and N. Mrad "Aircraft components structural health monitoring using flexible ultrasonic transducer arrays", Proc. SPIE 7981, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2011, 79810P (13 April 2011);

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