Industrial Research Vision
The industrial members of RCNDE have developed a 5-10-20 year strategic vision for each of the market sectors represented in the consortium. The vision exercise identified the following key long term engineering challenges faced by industry which require a step-change in NDE capability:
- High-value manufacturing: inspection to underpin new manufacturing processes such as additive manufacture – including demonstration of regulatory compliance needed to introduce new processes, quality assessment, process control, reducing wastage and warranty costs
- New engineering designs: inspection of new plant & component designs, light-weighting for aerospace, renewable energy plant, new nuclear, etc.
- New engineering materials: including high temperature materials, lightweight materials, nano-materials, etc. – inspection to measure material properties as well as defect & damage assessment
- New operating conditions: e.g. deep water, next-generation high-temperature fossil power plant, radioactive environments requiring remote or robotic NDE deployment
- Ageing infrastructure and life extension: e.g. power plant, oil & gas structures, aircraft, where methods for more accurate defect assessment and continuous monitoring would provide significant safety and economic benefits.
The vision includes detailed requirements for each market sector which have a high degree of commonality and align into the following overall strategic research objectives:
- Providing more quantitative NDE information – converting NDE data into decision-making information and enable a less conservative approach to plant design, operation & life extension
- Minimising or eliminating disruptive in-service inspection – through new technology for high-fidelity NDE at manufacture and for permanent monitoring
- Improving the understanding of NDE performance
- Improving NDE reliability
- Improving imaging and presentation of NDE data
- Developing techniques for challenging new engineering designs, materials and processes.
Priority areas for long-term research derived from the vision are summarised in the figure below, drawn into four cross-cutting themes each of which is relevant to several of the strategic objectives.
Priority themes and areas for future research derived from the industrial strategic vision for NDE
For more information about the industrial 5-10-20 vision for NDE refer to Insight Vol. 54 No. 3 March 2012.