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Air-Coupled Ultrasound for Composite NDT


Air-coupled ultrasonic testing of composites first emerged in the 1980s. Recent developments in the transducers used and software based signal processing make it a particularly attractive solution to the inspection of composite hardware. This technique now inspects parts extremely rapidly, and is a completely non-contact solution.
Because of its low frequency and high amplitude, there are few composite materials that cannot be interrogated using this technique. For continuous molded composites such as pultrusions, air-coupled ultrasound may offer the ability to provide real-time information about the strength and integrity of the product as well as locating discrete defects. Applications where the manufacturer cannot allow the part to become wet during the fabrication process but who still needs to verify the quality of the part are good candidates for this technology.

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