Robotic laser shearography enables 100% inspection of complex, flight-critical composite structures

It is described how Laser Shearography has been used for nondestructive testing (NDT) of composite components in aerospace production environments over the last decades with reference to some prestigious applications.

Aeroplane wing iStock 173315140

The principle behind Laser Shearography is explained and how technology development has further modernized the technique, using modular sensors on computer-controlled robotic arms and advanced software. These features of state of the art Shearography systems result in increased probability of detection (POD) and perform defect characterization on complex composites structures such as helicopter rotor blades, aircraft sub-assemblies and spacecraft components. The method suits indeed for the detection of a wide range of defects, including disbonds, delamination, cracks, wrinkles, crushed core, fluid ingress, repair defects, voids, foreign objects and barely visible impact damage.

Over the years Dantec Dynamics has supplied many solutions for the aerospace industry. With reference to specific customer projects several of these cases are examined to outline the advantages of using Laser Shearography for automated defect detection. The uniqueness of this technology is described:

– It’s a NDT method which is ideally suited for the structural evaluation of bondlines
– It’s a non-contact method that can be automated for easy and fast inspection of large areas, saving time and money

As composites manufacturing matures and production rates continue to increase, NDT systems that can be integrated inline and achieve 100% inspection are key to success. Automated Laser Shearography constitutes an efficient and customizable means to attain that goal.

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