AUTOMATED THERMOGRAPHIC INSPECTION SYSTEM FOR THE INSPECTION OF AERONAUTIC WELDINGS
Thermography opens a new paradigm because it shifts actual manual inspections like those of Fluorescent Penetrant Inspection (FPI) into automated inspection and detection to avoid human errors. AUTHENTIC addresses the development and adoption of automated inductive active thermography to improve the probability of detection (POD) of surface defects generated or appearing in welded safety-critical engine components both for in-process control and for final inspection and quality acceptance. The high sensitivity of the technology enables the detection of cracks down to 200 μm. An improvement higher than 50% is expected on the detectable critical defect size, on POD basis.
Automation will be implemented during the inspection process through an adequate robotic system and also during the defect detection, characterization and localization, thanks to the developed algorithms. Furthermore, a second sensory will be added to the main system in order to tackle geometrically complex cases where thermography might fail or give a partial result due to accessibility issues.
The system developed will provide:
- faster inspections on full-scale components,
- elimination of human subjectivity from inspections,
- and healthier and cleaner working environment for technicians.
The easier, faster and more accurate maintenance inspections will lead to safer aircrafts and to the extension of their lifetime contributing to a globally more innovative, sustainable and competitive EU aircraft industry.
AUTHENTIC will cover the complete definition of the NDT system based on process and inspection requirements to its implementation and validation through the inspection of a real component provided by GKN (topic leader). The achievements of project objectives will be supported by the multidisciplinary consortium formed by experts in thermography (LORTEK, ULEOEBEN and EDEVIS), simulation (ULEOBEN), automated inspection (EDEVIS), sensorics (HV) and welding metallurgy (LORTEK, HV).