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AIR-COUPLED ULTRASONIC INSPECTION
Water, the most commonly used couplant in ultrasonic testing, is not compatible with certain industrial processes. It may cause permanent damage to many materials, especially to some of the advanced materials used by the aerospace industry. Therefore, QMI developed the unique AIRSCAN?instrumentation and technique, which uses the air of the natural environment as couplant. As such, AIRSCAN is considered a noncontact ultrasonic inspection method. The method also allows to increase the scanning speed without being constrained by any couplant.
The SONDA LF 50 is the portable, fully digitized version of air-coupled ultrasonic instruments for low frequency applications.
Inspection of pultruded and other, highly attenuative materials are successfully tested using the new ceramic transducers at 120 kHz. Ceramic is more durable and more robust than any electrostatic transducers. 120 kHz is an optimum combination of good resolution and penetration. The high frequency of 400 kHz yields the best lateral resolution, while the low frequency of 50 kHz is used for highly attenuative materials.
The following images show C-scans of a paste bonded composite panel with bondline voids.
|5 MHz Water Squirter||400 kHz Airscan|
Multifrequency scanning offers an additional tool for defect evalution, as shown in the following C-scans. Note the red color of the defect in the right scan, in contrast to the blue color of the same defect in the left scan. Such frequency dependent transmissions are an indication for increased porosity, as opposed to delaminations.
|400 kHz Airscan||50 kHz Airscan|
AIRSCAN?/sup> transducers can be configured to work in through-transmission or pitch-catch mode. This technique is ideally suited for the application of plate waves.
from one side
from opposite sides
Typical applications include:
|Gr/E Laminates||C/C Aircraft Brake Discs||Production Feedback Control for Pultrusions|
|Solar Panels||Uncured Prepreg Lay-ups||ARALL Panels|
|Honeycombs||Impact Damage Assessment||Composite Fan Blades|
|Perforated Honeycombs||Impact Damage Repair Test||Aerofoils and Components|
|Cork Coated Honeycombs||Multiple Layer Aluminum Sheet Bonding||Composite Aluminum Balsa|
|Solar Cell Bonding||Corrosion Detection (Aged Aircraft)||High-Temp Applications|
|Aircraft Floor Panels||Solid Rocket Propellant||Fiber Reinforced Pressure Vessels|
|Foam Sandwich Panels||Robotics Sound Sight Recognition (Nuclear)||Materials Characterization|
HONEYCOMB SOLAR PANEL
C-scan image with
More detailed information about the applications and technique of air-coupled ultrasonic inspection can be found in the following references and links:
You may also contact us directly.
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