3d Modeling For Phased-array Inspections In Aerospace Industry

To ensure the safety of passengers and proper maintenance of equipment, inspections of surface impact damage on aircraft parts and structure must be performed. Aircraft manufacturers and air carriers are continuously faced with the challenge of inspecting complex aerospace components, such as aircraft turbines, engine bays, nacelles and cockpits, which are all part of a very intricate assembly that cannot be taken out for inspection purposes.

Phased array inspection and imaging (PA) is an advanced method of ultrasonic testing (UT) used in NDT inspections. Phased-array focal law simulation is used to predict the inspection results and optimize the probe and wedge configurations. Inspection of complex shape components using a 2D matrix can be challenging. In the absence of a better solution, the 3D model usually comes from a CAD file or a theoretical model construction. However, the real component’s shape often varies considerably from theoretical models and, therefore, affects the ultrasound scan quality and probability of detection.

For aerospace parts that often feature complex geometries, 3D modeling of a part combined with phased array inspection can be used to get a highly accurate representation of the damage. The 3D scan data acquired with Creaform’s NDT equipment provides aerospace maintenance teams the positioning and sizing information required by phased array ultrasonic testing. This data is essential in determining proper maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) plans.