Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) of Welded Structures for Aerospace Applications
Pp. 354-395 (42)
Mohammad W. Dewan, Daniel J. Huggett and Muhammad A. Wahab
The aerospace industry has utilized high strength aluminum alloys to
propel the production and manufacturing of advanced aerospace technology;
however, welding of Aluminum and its constituent alloys introduce challenges which
affect the structural integrity of the welded area if conducted indecorously. For this
reason, Non-destructive Evaluation (NDE) of welded areas is conducted to ascertain
defective regions to ensure structural integrity of the aerospace structure. NDE
techniques are noninvasive and can determine whether the object contains
irregularities, discontinuities, or flaws. Inspecting weld areas allows for cost
reduction by detecting discontinuities in the early stages of manufacturing;
consequently, reducing the time and money to rework the error and allows for the
validation of sound welds. A variety of NDE techniques are available depending on
the applications, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Among the
number of NDE techniques, radiography and ultrasonics are the most widely utilized
for inspection of weld defects. In this study, a detailed analysis was thereby
conducted to ascertain the critical phased array ultrasonic testing (PAUT) parameters
for the detection of weld defects, more specifically with Friction-Stir-Welding (FSW).
Consequently a comparison to X-ray radiography is also included. It was observed that both techniques produced similar detection results for defects in the range of
1.0mm; however, it was found that PAUT was the only technique able to discover
defects in the range of 0.15 mm.
Non-destructive evaluations, Phased array ultrasonic testing,
Radiographic testing, Welding, Welding defects.
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA.