Radalytica a.s., in cooperation with XARION Laser Acoustics GmbH, integrates air-coupled ultrasonic probes. They are particularly effective for detecting delaminations in composite materials that are virtually invisible by X-rays. Air-coupled ultrasound will also find further use in material, aviation and other research fields.
Different imaging methods have different uses depending on the required application. In many cases, it is appropriate to use more than one method at a time to get a better overview of the sample.
A good example is a damaged composite wing of an aircraft after hitting a foreign object. The X-ray image reveals the structure of the composite and its possible damage by fine cracks at the point of impact. However, delamination in the surrounding area cannot be detected by X-ray. Ultrasound is nevertheless suitable for the detection of delamination, but it does not allow high-resolution imaging of fine cracks. The solution is a combination of these methods.
Honeycomb sandwich panel with simulated honeycomb-to-skin defect.
Both scans show the artificial circular inserts simulating disconnection of the honeycomb from the skin. The X-ray can detect all insert sizes. UT detects inserts at level ~4 cells.
X-ray comparison with Ultrasound (UT) on sample CRFP
In the example above, both UT and X-Ray detect the damaged area, UT detects delamination, but only the combination of methods shows all available data – delaminations, cracks even fibre bundles.
Single sided inspection (Pitch-Catch)
Other imaging methods
Computed tomography and robosynthesis
Robots also allow to measure 3D images using computed tomography or robosynthesis.
Inspection of curved surfaces
The Robotic Imaging System is equipped with laser distance measurement as standard. It is used by the system to map the shape of the sample before measuring. This information is used to navigate the robots around the sample to avoid collisions.
Using a 3D Mouse
Real-time imaging with a 3D mouse allows full control over the position and viewing angle of the X-ray image. The X-ray image of the given area of the sample is displayed in real time on the screen.
Focus to selected depth
The flexibility of robot allows also focusing X-ray images to different depth and showing different layers of the sample.
Laser surface profiling
The laser profiler is an imaging tool that provides precise information on scanned object outer shape with precision down to about 30 µm in depth.