Aerospace Inspection with CT Scanning
Effective quality management has always been crucial within the aerospace industry. Faulty designs and poorly manufactured parts not only lead to wasted resources and loss of profits, but also jeopardise company reputation and can compromise public safety.
The quest for quality has also helped push new innovations in aerospace. Whether that is through the greater usage of advanced materials like super alloys to increase aircraft performance and durability, or the adoption of additive manufacturing, enabling weight savings and space optimisation whilst allowing complex designs to be produced.
Industrial CT Scanning for Aerospace Inspection
Testing has always been a crucial step in the management of quality, but given the value of many parts, destructive tests do not make economic sense, especially in the cases of large and expensive components.
Non-destructive testing (NDT) is therefore an essential tool for quality assurance in the aerospace industry, and sub-surface NDT is especially useful for aerospace as it provides insight into critical internal features that other methods could miss.
For this reason, industrial computed tomography (CT Scanning) is redefining the limits of inspection. Its appeal is in its versatility and speed, along with the ability to examine the internal features of complex shapes and geometries, identifying and characterizing defects like cracks, voids, wall thickness, inclusions, porosities, residual powder, and other types of defects.
Uses of CT Scanning in Aerospace
Production quality control; CT scanning can be used to ensure that production parts meet original CAD designs. It also allows for the comparison of components before and after treatments, at different stages of manufacturing and throughout the lifecycle of a component for archival purposes. For example, scan data can be used to assess component wear over time, such as monitoring crack growth to determine critical flaw sizes or for creating a digital archive of parts through reverse engineering.
First Article Inspection (FAI); CT provides accurate data for objective verification and documentation of engineered designs and tolerances, with consistent turnaround time regardless of measurement complexity. Alignment schemes can be customized according to project requirements, including best fit, datum, feature-based, and other predetermined parameters.
Failure Investigations, CT scanning provides an ability to inspect internal features of complex components that have undergone fatigue or mechanical testing, without changing the conditions of failure. This makes it a highly valuable tool for failure analysis.
See the full www.qualitymag.com article here.