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An impact resonance testing device for fast inspection of composite materials

News International-French

18 Sep 2015

NLA Diagnostics (NLAD) announces that its non-destructive tester improves military and aerospace maintenance operations. The Cheetah testing device enables routine inspections of composite materials in a fraction of the time needed for manual tap testing.

Such technological efficiency means those responsible for keeping planes and helicopters airborne can accurately and easily test for damage right in the field, minimizing downtime incurred in preparing vulnerable components for lab testing.

The hand-held, easily deployed NLAD Cheetah greatly reduces aircraft downtime by enhancing routine inspection procedures. Even more vital, it can provide rapid, in-the-field “first aid” assessment testing in cases of suspected impact damage from bird strikes, overheating, lightning and other physical trauma. The Cheetah device gives immediate and accurate feedback as to whether disbondings, delamination or degradation has occurred in rotary wings, fuselages and other structures made of today’s advanced composite materials. At a time when more and more flight-critical components are made of composites, the NLAD Cheetah is poised to make an impact on aviation operations far into the future.

For decades, aircraft parts suspected of damage often had to be fully disassembled and transported to a soundproof testing room. With structures such as jet engine nacelles, parts had to be removed to test composite material on both inside and outside surfaces.

Today the NLAD Cheetah can test both far-side and near-side laminates and bonds from the near-side surface, all right in the field using Impact Resonance Testing. As NLAD’s Rapid Electro-Mechanical Impact Hammer (REMIH) taps the composite material’s surface, vibrations are recorded by an acoustic broadband receiver and analyzed to determine the integrity of the material. Such exacting technology enables detection of a disbond on either side of a composite structure without disassembling it.

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