Aeronautical Applications of Non-destructive Testing

Abbas Fahr, Ph.D., Senior Research Officer, Aerospace Structures, Materials and Manufacturing, National Research Council, Canada

ISBN: 978-1-60595-120-1, ©2014, 510 pages, 6×9, Soft cover

  • Comprehensive guide to the basic principles and applications of non-destructive testing methods for aircraft system and components: airframe, propulsion, landing gear and more
  • Provides detailed analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of major NDT methods
  • Important for design, inspection, maintenance, repair, corrosion protection and safety
  • Excellent book for academic courses and industry training

This critical book is among the first to provide a detailed assessment of non-destructive testing methods for the many materials and thousands of parts in aircraft. It describes a wide variety of NDT techniques and explains their application in the evaluation and inspection of aerospace materials and components ranging from the entire airframe to systems and subsystems. At the same time the book offers guidance on the information derived from each NDT method and its relation to aircraft design, repair, maintenance and overall safety. The book covers basic principles, as well as practical details of instrumentation, procedures and operational results with a full discussion of each method’s capabilities and limitations as these pertain to aircraft inspection and different types of materials, e.g., composites and metal alloys. This book also contains important instructional material for courses on NDT, composite materials, corrosion and inspection reliability.

Technologies covered include: optical and enhanced optical methods; liquid penetrant, replication and magnetic particle inspection; electromagnetic and eddy current approaches; acoustics and ultrasonic techniques; infrared thermal imaging; and radiographic methods. A final section is devoted to NDT reliability and ways the probability of detection can be measured to establish inspection intervals.

List of Acronyms

Chapter 1. Introduction
1.1 Purpose
1.2 Definitions
1.3 Aeronautical NDT
1.4 Organization of the Chapters
1.5 Chapter References

Chapter 2. NDT in Aircraft Design, Manufacture, and Operation
2.1 Aircraft Design
2.2 NDT during Aircraft Life Cycle
2.3 Chapter References

Chapter 3. NDT Process
3.1 Background
3.2 NDT Personnel
3.3 Standard Practices
3.4 Reference Standards
3.5 Non-standard Reference Pieces
3.6 Calibrations
3.7 NDT Measurements
3.7.1 Example
3.8 NDT Signal and Image Processing
3.9 NDT Modeling
3.10 Examples of Non-standard Reference Pieces
3.11 Appendices
3.12 Chapter References

Chapter 4. Visual Inspection and Optical Methods
4.1 Visual Inspection
4.2 Edge of Light (EOL)
4.3 Double Pass Retroreflection or D-sight
4.4 Laser Shearography
4.5 Chapter References

Chapter 5. Liquid Penetrant, Replication, and Magnetic Particle Methods
5.1 Liquid Penetrant Inspection (LPI)
5.2 Replication
5.3 Magnetic Particle Inspection (MPI)
5.4 Chapter References

Chapter 6. Electromagnetic Methods
6.1 Principles
6.2 Eddy Current Testing (ECT)
6.3 Eddy Current Probes
6.4 Eddy Current Measurement
6.5 Measurement Systems
6.6 Application Examples of Eddy Current Testing
6.7 Capabilities and Limitations
6.8 Magneto-optical Imaging (MOI)
6.9 Chapter References

Chapter 7. Ultrasonic Methods
7.1 Principles
7.2 Testing Procedures
7.3 Equipment
7.4 Application Examples
7.5 Non-contact Ultrasonic Testing
7.6 Chapter References

Chapter 8. Acoustic Techniques
8.1 Tap Testing
8.2 Mechanical Impedance Analysis (MIA)
8.3 Acoustic Resonance
8.4 Acoustic Emission Testing
8.5 Acousto-Ultrasonic Technique
8.6 Chapter References

Chapter 9. Infrared Thermography
9.1 Principles
9.2 Passive Thermography
9.3 Active Thermography
9.4 Thermography Equipment
9.5 Chapter References

Chapter 10. Radiography
10.1 Principles
10.2 Radiographic Image Quality
10.3 X-ray Techniques
10.4 Gamma Rays
10.5 Neutron Radiography
10.6 Compton Backscattering
10.7 Computed Tomography
10.8 Chapter References

Chapter 11. NDT of Aerospace Composite Materials and Components
11.1 Background
11.2 Carbon Fiber Solid Laminates
11.3 Kevlar Laminates
11.4 Fiber-Metal Laminates
11.5 Honeycomb Sandwich Panels
11.6 Foam-core Sandwich Panels
11.7 Inspection of Adhesive Bonds
11.8 Chapter References

Chapter 12. NDT of Corrosion in Aluminum Airframe Structures
12.1 Background
12.2 Corrosion Types
12.3 Aluminum Lap-joint Corrosion
12.4 NDT Methods for Lap-joint Corrosion
12.5 Corrosion Verification Tests
12.6 NDT Metrics for Corrosion
12.7 Chapter Summary
12.8 Chapter References

Chapter 13. NDT Reliability
13.1 Background
13.2 Experimental Demonstration of NDT Reliability
13.3 Model-assisted POD
13.4 Examples of NDT Reliability Studies
13.5 Chapter References

About the Author


  1. :

    Non-destructive Testing (NDT) well-known as an integral part of the through-life operation of all modern aircraft. Indeed, NDT is also interwoven with current design and manufacturing philosophies. I was therefore delighted to see that this extremely important topic is now covered by a 477 page book. Firstly, the book sets the context in which NDT is used by the aerospace industry and explains design philosophies such as the concepts of damage tolerance and inspection intervals. This is important as it explains why NDT is needed and how it fits into the aerospace industry.

    The book then goes on to delve into the core NDT methods, such as ultrasonics, theromography and eddy currents. This is a daunting breadth of subject matter as NDT is very much an interdisciplinary subject. It means that these technique chapters can only really serve an introductions to these topics which each warrant books in their own right. Understandably then some technical subtleties and things like new techniques are glossed over. However, the really nice aspects of these chapters are the real-world practical examples, which come from the author’s own experience. I can see these examples being of significant use to readers who already have an NDT background in a different sector. They would also be useful for engineering students or practicing engineers who need to understand this application.

    Having viewed NDT from a technique perspective, the book then changes tack and considers two particular aerospace application challenges: detection of corrosion in aluminium structures and the inspection of composite materials. The book then concludes with a comprehensive chapter describing how the performance of NDT is measured, a critical yet overlooked subject that is very clearly described here.

    In summary, this is a welcome book on NDT in aerospace. It is jam-packed with numerous real-world examples and has nice chapters that consider the big picture of why NDT is performed.
    Professor Bruce W Drinkwater, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bristol

Aeronautical Applications of Non-destructive Testing (Entire eBook)
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Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: NDT in Aircraft Design, Manufacture, and Operation
Chapter 3: NDT Process
Chapter 4: Visual Inspection and Optical Methods
Chapter 5: Liquid Penetrant, Replication, and Magnetic Particle Methods
Chapter 6: Electromagnetic Methods
Chapter 7: Ultrasonic Methods
Chapter 8: Acoustic Techniques
Chapter 9: Infrared Thermography
Chapter 10: Radiography
Chapter 11: NDT of Aerospace Composite Materials and Components
Chapter 12: NDT of Corrosion in Aluminum Airframe Structures
Chapter 13: NDT Reliability

ISBN: 978-1-60595-120-1, ©2014, 510 pages, 6×9, Soft cover

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