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8 April 2009 Detection of surface breaking fatigue crack on a complex aircraft structure with Rayleigh surface waves
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As part of an on-going, multi-year effort focused on developing a practical structural health monitoring (SHM) sensor for critical structural components in aircraft, a miniature Rayleigh surface wave sensor has been developed and tested. The sensor was specifically designed to detect localized, deterministic cracking in targeted locations in critical locations where fatigue cracking is prevalent. A representative aircraft component was used in the present investigation. Miniature interdigital transducers (IDTs) operating in the low megahertz frequency range were designed, fabricated, and tested on compact tension (CT) fatigue specimens in the laboratory before they were strategically placed on the structure, where surface wave signals were monitored in both pitch-catch and pulse-echo detection modes simultaneously. Under a high-cycle fatigue loading to the structure, the IDT sensors performed well with three of the sensors successfully detecting the existence of a critical fatigue crack. Visual and eddy current inspection methods subsequently verified the presence of the crack and its location. In this paper, the entire effort from the design and characterization of the IDT sensors to the final fatigue test on an actual aircraft part is discussed.
© (2009) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Jeong K. Na, James L. Blackshire, and Samuel J. Kuhr "Detection of surface breaking fatigue crack on a complex aircraft structure with Rayleigh surface waves", Proc. SPIE 7295, Health Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2009, 72950G (8 April 2009);

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