An ultrasonic laser inspection system

The aerospace division of Tecnatom has just supplied a new aeronautical inspection system developed jointly with Airbus, called tecnaLUS®.

This new equipment has been validated at Airbus industrial facilities in the BahIa de CAdiz Center (CBC), after reaching the TRL6 level (Technology Readiness Level), according to the internal procedures of Airbus Defence & Space.

tecnaLUS® is a system based on RABIT (Robotic Systems) technologies and Laser Ultrasonics (Ultrasonics generated by laser) with the purpose of performing quality control in the process of manufacturing aeronautical components. RABIT is a technology designed, developed and manufactured by Tecnatom that allows all the sub-systems required for a non-destructive testing inspection system to be integrated in a coherent manner. In this way, the end user has available all the necessary information via a single interface: part, coordinates, safety systems signals, machine status hardware and software alerts, ultrasonic acquisition information, etc.

Furthermore, the laser generated ultrasonic technique is a novelty technology that uses two space and time synchronised lasers that, generate and detect ultrasonic vibrations in the material to be inspected. The use of this technique makes it possible to analyse parts without contact, and without the need for any coupling medium, since the ultrasounds are generated by the thermal excitation created by a CO2 laser on the surface of the material. On the other hand, LUS allows controlling the system remotely and is much more flexible when positioning the machine’s optical head so it can be easily adapted to the geometry of the inspected part. These advantages make it especially interesting for the inspection of components with complex geometries and pieces of medium and small dimensions. For example, tecnaLUS® will allow the automated inspection of small and complex geometry parts for the A400M, which are currently being tested manually.

The system offers an addition novelty with respect to the other robot-operated systems developed by Tecnatom: the robot involved transports the part to be inspected instead of leaving it in a fixed position and moves the ultrasonic generation mechanism. This concept is perfectly exportable to conventional ultrasonics. tecnaLUS® will increase productivity, save costs and, therefore, improve competitiveness of manufacturing processes in the aerospace industry.

Companies: Tecnatom NDT

Terms: Business, Innovations

This article has been edited by Basalt.Today
This article has been written on JEC Composites Magazine
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