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Quantitative Measurement of Metal Loss Due to Corrosion in Aluminum Aircraft Skin

  • D. K. Hsu
  • T. C. Patton
  • V. Dayal
  • B. L. Hinzie
  • J. N. Gray

Abstract

The detection and characterization of corrosion is one of the many challenges in the nondestructive inspection (NDI) of aging aircraft. A number of groups are pursuing ultrasonic techniques for the detection and evaluation of corrosion in such aluminum fuselage structures such as lap splices and tear straps [1]. Under the FAA-Aging Aircraft Research Program, Patton and Hsu [2–4] at Iowa State University have developed the capability to apply high resolution, water-coupled, focused-beam ultrasonic NDI to aircraft fuselage structures in a maintenance hangar environment. The method, known as the “Dripless Bubbler” technique, is a combination of focused-beam immersion ultrasonics with a portable ultrasonic scanner. With the Dripless Bubbler, B- and C-scan images of the aircraft fuselage may be acquired using both high frequency and low frequency immersion ultrasonics typically only reserved for the laboratory. In this paper, we present results on corrosion detection in the outer aluminum skin of a fuselage lap splice section using high frequency (15 MHz nominal center frequency) immersion ultrasonics, and compare these results against those obtained from collimated-beam X-ray attenuation measurements. This comparison has been quite instructive and revealed several important considerations in the interpretation of both ultrasonic and X-ray data when applied to the quantitative measurement of metal skin thickness.

Keywords

Corrosion Product Exfoliation Corrosion Corrode Region Aging Aircraft Aluminum Skin 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

  1. 1.
    SPIE Proceedings on Nondestructive Inspection of Aircraft, Vol. 2001, edited by M. T. Valley, N. K. Del Grande, and A. S. Kobayashi, 1993.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    D. K. Hsu and T. C. Patton, “Development of Ultrasonic Inspection for Adhesive Bonds in Aging Aircraft,” Materials Evaluation, Vol. 51, No. 12, pp 1390–1397, 1993.Google Scholar
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    T. C. Patton and D. K. Hsu, “Field Demonstration of the Dripless Bubbler Ultrasonic Scanner,” Review of Progress in QNDE,Vol. 14, edited by D. O. Thompson and D. E. Chimenti, (Plenum Press, New York), pp. 2269–2276, 1995.Google Scholar
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    T. C. Patton and D. K. Hsu, “Recent Developments with the Dripless Bubbler Ultrasonic Scanner,” Review of Progress in QNDE, Vol. 15, edited by D. O. Thompson and D. E. Chimenti, (Plenum Press, New York), 1996.Google Scholar
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    J. Ting, T. Jensen, and J. N. Gray, “Using Energy Dispersive X-ray Measurements for Quantitative Determination of Material Loss Due to Corrosion,” Review of Progress in QNDE, Vol. 14, edited by D. O. Thompson and D. E. Chimenti, (Plenum Press, New York), pp. 1963–1969, 1993.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. K. Hsu
    • 1
  • T. C. Patton
    • 1
  • V. Dayal
    • 2
  • B. L. Hinzie
    • 1
  • J. N. Gray
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for NDEIowa State UniversityAmesUSA
  2. 2.Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering MeschanicsIowa State UniversityAmesUSA

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