Handheld unit detects flaws in composite structures

 - May 9, 2008, 5:02 AM

NDT International has developed a smaller, less expensive way of providing C-scan images of bond flaws in composites and honeycomb structures. At just 1.5-lb, BonDetector is smaller than other bond analysis instruments, the manufacturer claims, and provides immediate visualization and interpretation of flawed areas. The West Chester, Pa.-based company has been providing equipment, supplies and technical services for the non-destructive testing industry since 1971.

Typical applications for BonDetector are locating and profiling dis-bonds, unbonds, delaminations, porosity and other structural violations. Tested materials include non-metallic laminate components; metallic and non-metallic sandwich honeycomb components; sandwich construction with various types of core; and multi-layer components.

BonDetector uses three test modes: mechanical impedance analysis, impact analysis and pitch-catch analysis, along with the C-Image reconstruction. The unit allows for simultaneous inspection of up to three layers while using three different preset test setups. A built-in bidirectional RS-232 communications port enables inspection results to be printed or transmitted to an external PC for storage and further processing via provided Windows-based software.

The unit offers a choice of automatic tuning to the material under test or spectrum analyzer mode for manual tuning. It has a built-in power-independent memory capable of permanently storing up to 43 tuning parameter sets and more than 270 test results. BonDetector has a frequency range of one to 40 kHz, a coordinate measurement error of ±1.5 mm and an operating temperature range of zero to 50 deg C.