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Liquid-Coupled Ultrasound for Composite NDT


High frequency ultrasound is particularly well suited to interrogating composite materials for internal flaws such as foreign material, delamination, porosity, and unbonding. Because of its short wavelength, it must be induced or "coupled" into a part using a liquid, typically water. This test is typically performed either in a bath of water known as an immersion tank or by passing the sound through narrow columns of pressurized water known as "squirters". In some applications, an ultrasonic transducer or an array of transducers is placed directly against a part and sound is coupled into the test area through a thin film of water.
The possibilities are endless! Liquid coupled ultrasonic testing has been the preferred methods since the beginning of the composite structures industry. Because it is sensitive to nearly any type of flaw that may occur in a composite and its nondestructive nature manufacturers have preferred it over radiography for many years. It can be used both at the manufacturing level and as an in-service inspection tool. Cracks, FOD, Porosity, Resin-starved, and unbonded areas are all easily detected with this technique.

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