Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Quality assurance for plastic and composite parts

Use of reinforcement fibre in plastic and composite materials for vehicle components offer superior stiffness-to-weight ratio than steel and aluminium. EU-funded researchers have developed tools for automated defect detection to ensure high quality in such parts.
Quality assurance for plastic and composite parts
Faulty components made of glass or carbon fibre reinforced plastic for land vehicles and aircraft cannot be repaired nor used due to high safety requirements. Furthermore, their actual damage status is usually invisible at the surface. Obviously, only non-destructive testing can offer valuable insights into quality issues at an early stage of production.

For consistent, repeatable and quantifiable defect evaluation, researchers have developed automated inspection tools. Within the project QUALIFIBRE (Qualification and diagnosis of carbon and glass fibre-reinforced composites with non-destructive measurement technologies), different testing techniques were combined to exploit their advantages and compensate for their disadvantages.

Techniques like 3D computer tomography, dark-field X-ray hyperspectral imaging, thermography and ultrasonic scanning were considered for non-destructive testing to resolve manufacturing issues. As the production of composite parts is still not fully automated, quality varies strongly and non-destructively collected data is urgently needed for quality assessment.

QUALIFIBRE partners developed dedicated software to evaluate data collected with the four techniques and automatically classify and visualise the flaws detected. In particular, the so-called machine vision platform enables the visualisation of both 2D and 3D data. Importantly, the ability to compare different data sets should increase user confidence in the evaluation results.

The project partners, who have so far benefited from the exchange of expertise and knowledge, have agreed to continue their cooperation beyond the end of QUALIFIBRE. To take advantage of the established synergies, a future project is already being planned to further develop the new technology for defect evaluation in plastic and composite parts.

Related information


Vehicle components, defect detection, carbon fibre reinforced plastic, non-destructive testing, QUALIFIBRE, computer tomography, ultrasonic scanning
Record Number: 183083 / Last updated on: 2016-07-26
Domain: Industrial Technologies