Development of On-line Damage Monitoring System for Evaluation of Composite Cockpit during Static/Fatigue Structural Tests

Lasagni, Fernando; CATEC - Advanced Center for Aerospace Technologies; Spain

Lasagni, F.; CATEC - Advanced Center for Aerospace Technologies; Spain
Hernández, S.; Tecnatom S.A.; Spain
Rodriguez, B.; CATEC - Advanced Center for Aerospace Technologies; Spain
Cuesta, F.; CATEC - Advanced Center for Aerospace Technologies; Spain
Castaño, A.J.; CATEC - Advanced Center for Aerospace Technologies; Spain
Viguria, A.; CATEC - Advanced Center for Aerospace Technologies; Spain
Cuevas, E.; Tecnatom S.A.; Spain

ID: ECNDT-0509-2018
Download: PDF
Session: Aerospace 5
Room: G1
Date: 2018-06-13
Time: 11:10 - 11:30

The mechanical evaluation of an aeronautic structure is a common activity performed during the development phase of an aircraft. Artificial damage is induced in the aerostructure in order to assess its performance during flight, where the apparition of damage should not affect the safety of the aircraft. Therefore, a continuous evaluation of induced damage during mechanical testing is required. Nowadays, inspections are usually performed during scheduled and non-scheduled stops of the tests, basically, by ultrasonics. The obtainment of inspection registers is limited since most of the inspections are performed manually, and the apparition or evolution of an indication is directly marked on the structure. On the other hand, performing manual ultrasonic inspections during mechanical loading are not allowed due to safety issues. Any breakage of the targeted structure, tooling or the hydraulic infrastructure can affect seriously the human team performing the work.
In this work, a full system for continuous monitoring of damage progress during structural tests has been developed. The system is based in thermographic inspections, allowing the detection of fiber breakages and/or appearance of delaminations in a composite cockpit. The system can be utilized at test stops but also during mechanical loading (even in static or fatigue). It consists of a thermographic camera attached to a semi-automatic tool, together with an illumination source for heat excitation. The position of the camera is controlled by a semiautomatic positioning tool connected to a software interface capable of (i) locating the thermographic camera on selected positions for assess the progress of the damage, (ii) storage the data coming for the scheduled/non-scheduled inspections (performed by active thermography), (iii) detecting the apparition or evolution of damage during mechanical loading in real time, (iv) performing quantitative/qualitative analysis of damage severity, between many other functions. Finally, results from a composite cockpit structure are presented for validation of the system.