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Mr James Kirkpatrick

Row-column Addressed Array Imaging and Laser Ultrasonic Testing of Composite Materials

This project focusses on Non-destructive Evaluation (NDE) of composite materials. There are two main strands to this project, both of which are designed to improve current capabilities in, or provide new capabilities to, the area of NDE of composites for the defence air domain. The first provides a scientific basis for the use of, and improvements to, Row-column Addressed (RCA) arrays, also called crossed-electrode transducer arrays, like DolphiCam (DolphiTech, Raufoss, Norway). The second is to design and test a cost-effective, small-footprint in-service Laser Ultrasonic Testing (LUT) system for the inspection of Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) on defence air platforms.

Work has been done to consider potential improvements to DolphiCam for in-service NDE. A MATLAB program has been written to process raw data from the DolphiCam device using an adapted Total Focussing Method (TFM) imaging algorithm. Experiments have now shown that this method provides improvements in both the detectability and sizing of defects. Together with this, the equipment and infrastructure needed for the LUT project has been purchased and, in some cases, delivered.

The project on RCA arrays is being written up before the start of the LUT project. This will hopefully include the publication of literature about the method used so that further development and commercialisation of RCA arrays for NDE is possible in the future. Following this, a complete LUT system for testing composites will be built, tested and improved.

Research keywords

  • Ultrasound. Non-destructive Testing. Inspection. Composite Materials. Laser Ultrasonic Testing. Arrays.