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Development of a fast inspection system for aerospace composite materials - the IntACom project

Cooper, Ian and Nicholson, Ian and Yan, Dawei and Wright, Ben and Liaptsis, Dimos and Mineo, Carmelo (2013) Development of a fast inspection system for aerospace composite materials - the IntACom project. In: 5th International Symposium on NDT in Aerospace, 2013-11-13 - 2013-11-15.

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The increasing use of composite materials across a range of industries is well documented. This has been driven by a desire to improve stiffness to weight ratios, to improve corrosion, impact and fatigue resistance and to reduce the cost of manufacture. Although great strides have been made in these areas the cost of manufacture is still a concern. This is partly due to the high cost of raw materials, but also due to the historically labour intensive method of manufacture. IntACom is a three year development project with the aim of reducing the time taken for inspection of complex geometry composite components by a factor of four. The heart of the system will be an inspection cell comprising two 6-axis robotic arms each capable of working independently and cooperatively. The arms will deploy end effectors carrying ultrasonic transducers coupled to state of the art Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing (PAUT) or full matrix capture (FMC) acquisition systems. A simple to use graphical user interface (GUI) will control all aspects from initial loading of part data, through scanning of the part to data analysis. This paper gives an overview of the progress to date.