Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Choosing a wave could accelerate airplane maintenance

Date:
July 23, 2013
Source:
Penn State
Summary:
Ultrasonic waves can find bubbles and cracks in adhesive bonds holding airplane composite parts together, and now aerospace engineers can select the best frequencies to detect adhesive failures in hard-to-reach places more quickly.

Experimental setup to test the ultrasonic wave modes selected by based on a variety of criteria. Researchers placed an ultrasonic wave emitter and receiver on either side of a sample bonded with adhesive to another surface. Faults purposely included are outlined in white.
Credit: Baiyang Ren, Penn State

Ultrasonic waves can find bubbles and cracks in adhesive bonds holding airplane composite parts together, and now aerospace engineers can select the best frequencies to detect adhesive failures in hard-to-reach places more quickly, thanks to Penn State researchers.

Different ultrasonic modes work best for different materials and configurations using the right one will locate more flaws with higher precision, according to the researchers. The selection process could save time and effort for engineers who perform maintenance on complex structures made from composite materials -- like airplanes.

Adhesive bonds are better for attaching composite parts than nuts and bolts, which pierce and weaken structural integrity. But heavy operation can crack the glue, damaging the bond's effectiveness. Ultrasonic waves let engineers examine bonded regions without having to dismantle anything.

"This technique is very widely used in aerospace engineering because those structures require a very high reliability," said Baiyang Ren, postgraduate in engineering science and mechanics. "When something like an airplane or helicopter, bridge, ship has some component that fails suddenly, that could cause a severe accident."

For bonded regions located between easily accessible, wide surfaces, obtaining a clean readout is easy. Ultrasonic waves pass through the bonded intersection to a receiver on the other side without interference.

However, for bonds between inaccessible, irregularly angled surfaces, the ultrasonic wave will convert into a different mode by the time it enters and travels through the bonded region. This new wave mode may not be as sensitive to adhesive flaws.

"Usually…the mode conversion at this region is a blind thing for people," said Ren."We want to know (the mode conversion) so that we know how to inspect that bond."

There are thousands of ultrasonic modes, and for the best results, engineers have to choose one that will convert into the actual mode they want. Identifying the right one for a specific project through trial and error can be time-consuming.

Researchers devised a selection process to determine the best combination of ultrasonic modes for a given material by identifying the criteria for optimal frequencies and eliminating possibilities through a series of models and calculations.

"We want the mode to travel fast, travel longer, and be sensitive to this bond and still be received by some particular receiver," said Ren. "Each criteria will filter out some of the modes. After several steps, what things you have left are the modes that you want to try."

The results are available online in the International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives.

To evaluate the efficacy of the selection process, researchers tested two of the optimal modes on pieces of carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer, glued together with planned defects created by inserting Teflon into the bonded region.

They then compared the results with a readout produced by one of the discarded frequencies. The two modes predicted to be successful detected flaws at a much finer resolution than the discarded one.

Cliff Lissenden, professor of engineering science and mechanics, also worked on this project.

The U.S. Government funded this project.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Penn State. The original article was written by Hannah Y. Cheng. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Baiyang Ren, Cliff J. Lissenden. Ultrasonic guided wave inspection of adhesive bonds between composite laminates. International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives, 2013; 45: 59 DOI: 10.1016/j.ijadhadh.2013.04.001

Cite This Page:

Penn State. "Choosing a wave could accelerate airplane maintenance." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130723155050.htm>.
Penn State. (2013, July 23). Choosing a wave could accelerate airplane maintenance. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130723155050.htm
Penn State. "Choosing a wave could accelerate airplane maintenance." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130723155050.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) An electric car that proponents hope will replace horse-drawn carriages in New York City has also been revealed at the auto show. (Apr. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins