Business aviation services provider Jet Aviation has been approved by the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation to use infrared thermography for non-destructive testing (NDT) at its Basel maintenance facility. The technology complements other NDT techniques Jet Aviation uses in Basel such as liquid penetrant, X-ray, magnetic particle, eddy current, and ultrasonic testing.
Infrared thermography converts heat energy to a temperature that can be depicted as an image of temperature distribution. Employed in medicine to detect cancer, the technology is used in aviation for testing the structural integrity of airframes and components.
“Like all NDT techniques, infrared thermography provides a non-invasive means of detecting problems before they escalate and potentially cause catastrophic results,” said Jet Aviation Basel NDT and components shops senior manager Frédéric Westpalm van Hoorn. As an example, he said, it can detect water collecting in the elevators or rudder and prevent the in-flight freezing and expansion that might lead to ruptures.
During scheduled maintenance, Jet Aviation will use infrared thermography for detecting delamination, defective bonding, water ingress, corrosion, and material thinning, as well as inspecting composite materials.