2D ultrasonic array system for the in-situ inspection of single crystal turbine blades
- 2D ultrasonic array system for the in-situ inspection of single crystal turbine blades
- Guided waves for power plant applications
- NDE to reduce defect-related failures in turbocharger turbine wheels
- Thermography for power station environments
- Use of microwaves for the detection of Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI)
Two-dimensional (2D) ultrasonic arrays for non-destructive evaluation enable the detection and characterisation of sub-surface defects in three-dimensions (3D).
One potential industrial application for this technology is the in-situ inspection of jet-engine turbine blades for root cracking. However modern jet-engine turbine blades are cast from single crystals of nickel-based superalloys because of their excellent mechanical properties at high temperature. Single-crystal materials are elastically anisotropic, which causes ultrasonic waves to propagate with different velocities depending on the direction of the wave and which significantly reduces the quality of the inspection.
This project involved the use of wave propagation modelling to correct ultrasonic imaging algorithms and enable the reliable volumetric inspection of single-crystal aerospace components. It also found ways to overcome physical access constraints for in-situ inspection and evaluated defect detection sensitivity and sizing capability.