Plant Integrity is leading a collaborative project to develop a handheld ultrasonic inspection device for the aerospace industry.
The TWI-owned company, which specialises in guided wave inspection systems, is lending its expertise to the RiviT programme, a two-year project bringing together organisations from across the UK.
With the project now six months into its two-year duration, efforts at Plant Integrity are focusing on the design of a guided wave pulser-receiver and transducer array and development of bespoke signal processing software.
In the aerospace sector, in-service inspection for fatigue cracks around riveted joints in an aircraft fuselage is a time-consuming, labour-intensive, costly process, in which each riveted joint must be inspected individually.
The RiviT project aims to provide a rapid, quantitative, portable, ultrasonic guided wave (UGW) inspection system for riveted airframe structures, with the capability to examine a number of riveted joints from a single inspection location.
Part-funded by the Technology Strategy Board and launched by Plant Integrity Ltd in December 2015, the project will culminate in a UGW inspection system demonstrated on an airframe structure (technology readiness level 6).
The RiviT inspection aims to deliver the following benefits:
- fast, consistent, high-resolution inspection of a number of riveted joints from a single inspection location
- cost-effective examination resulting from reduced inspection times
- identification of surface and sub-surface defects
- inspection of hard-to-access joints
- transfer of safety-critical aspects of aircraft frame maintenance from infrequent, costly, labour-intensive checks to rapid, frequently performed, efficient checks
- advance warning of manufacturing, service or fatigue defects likely to cause catastrophic structural failure.
The project consortium comprises the following industrial companies with complementary expertise.
Plant Integrity manufactures ultrasonic guided wave non-destructive testing (NDT) equipment for inspection and monitoring applications. It has been at the forefront of guided wave R&D since 1997.
Morgan Ward NDT performs non-destructive inspection of aerospace materials, components and structures in accordance with Design Authority-approved test procedures. The company is approved by UKAS, EASA Part 145 and the CAA.
InnoTecUK specialises in the provision of advanced NDT, condition monitoring and automated systems to industry in the UK and worldwide.
Air Salvage International is a worldwide market leader in delivering professional dismantling services to the aviation industry.
For more information contact Plant Integrity. Visit www.plantintegrity.com, e-mail email@example.com or call +44 (0)1223 899180.