The use of composites in nearly all industry sectors is growing as a result of the excellent strength to weight ratio. Modern aerospace, marine and wind energy structures are heavily reliant on composite materials, but by their very nature, their inhomogeneity makes them a challenge for inspection. With a large variation of material types, lay-up and the use of sandwich core and variations in the quality of manufacturing, often conventional ultrasonic inspection can struggle to produce a consistent result.
Certain types of foam core or glue lines can act as a barrier to sound transmission as can porosity and voids in the resin. CIC NDT offers a wide range of unique composite inspection solutions using standard and imaging flaw detectors and bond testers complemented by an extensive range of transducers for both monolithic and sandwich constructions.
Most monolithic carbon and glass based reinforced composites will often be consolidated enough to yield a strong ‘back wall echo’ allowing inspection with conventional ultrasonic methods. However, for most resin infused materials, sandwich structures and any lay-up with the presence of air, the high scattering of sound means this method no longer works. In this case a lower frequency probe, through transmission or an alternative technique, such as bond testing, is required.