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Detecting Corrosion in Aircraft Components

Corrosion can compromise the material’s structural integrity and may result in a catastrophe. As a result, it’s important that materials and components meet the standards and maintenance is regularly performed. In addition, timely and accurate inspections are a must to detect the signs of corrosion (exact location, extent) before they cause any danger and catastrophe.

Detecting corrosion in aircraft components

Whether the corrosion is caused by direct chemical or electrochemical reactions, early detection (and appropriate corresponding measure) is key to catastrophe prevention. To accomplish this, professionals rely on a variety of non-destructive testing methods:

  • Dye penetrant testing
  • Radiography
  • Ultrasonic examination
  • Eddy current
  • Magnetic flaw detection

Qualified and competent personnel should perform the inspections for safety and accurate readings. They may choose one or a combination of the inspection methods mentioned above depending on the accessibility of the component or material, the nature of the suspected defect and the structure’s design. For example, the ultrasonic method is valuable in applications where extensive dismantling could be a problem when detecting the flaws (in contrast to visual methods).

Aside from accuracy and reliability, technical personnel also consider portability in their choice of an inspection method and instrument. After all, routine inspections may require working at heights or areas that are difficult to access. This is one strong feature of eddy current testing because portable and battery-operated instruments and test sets are available (plus extensive dismantling is not often required).

Dye penetrant testing is also a common method that requires no elaborate equipment nor specialised personnel. However, this seemingly simple method requires surface preparation (i.e. the surface should be clean) so that small cracks can be revealed. Another common inspection method is radiographic examination wherein a “comprehensive image” will result (similar to human X-ray images). However, this requires considerable technical skill as well as costs due to the nature of the method and the equipment needed.

Each testing method has its own strengths and advantages and to ensure accurate and reliable readings, we have to consider the material or component itself. Economic and manpower considerations are important as well. Because each testing method and instrument could have more than a dozen features, it’s crucial to receive accurate advice from a technical team.

You can contact us here at NDT Equipment Sales. You can talk to us about your application and requirements. More than 25 years in business, you can benefit from our long experience and technical expertise. Industrial clients here in Australia as well as from overseas rely on us for their non-destructive testing equipment.