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Non-destructive testing (NDT) of bonded assemblies

Project description

New methods of testing adhesive bond quality in composite aircraft

Composite materials make up 50 % of the primary structures of new aircraft models. The growing demand for these materials is pressing the aerospace industry to develop reliable, cost-efficient inspection solutions for adhesively bonded hybrid assemblies, specifically for weak bonds and difficult-to-detect structural defects. The EU-funded SealedwithoUTaKiss project will combine non-destructive testing methods, inline process inspection techniques and mechanical testing to assess the performance of adhesively bonded assemblies. Merging expertise from different fields, the project will offer the European aerospace industry a competitive advantage, resulting in more reliable, fuel-efficient and low-cost aircraft.


With the growing demand of composites in aircrafts (more than 50% composites are used in new models), growth in air transport fleets across the world (increasing at 5.65% CAGR), rise in market of MRO operations (increasing at 4.4% CAGR by 2020) and structural failure being the second most common cause of aircraft incidents (16.5% of incidents), it is evident that the aerospace industry needs a reliable, cost-efficient inspection solution for composites and adhesively bonded hybrid assemblies, specifically for kissing bonds and other hard to find structural defects.

SealedwithoUTaKiss presents NDT inspection techniques including a TRL6 demonstrator of laser shock and ultrasonic guided waves for the reliable detection of structural defects in bonded assemblies (e.g. kissing bonds) with a high level of accuracy. The project will implement mechanical adherence testing and comparative experimental analysis of different NDT techniques, as well as identifying different defects in various hybrid bonded assemblies. Our solution will allow the highly reliable, widespread implementation of adhesively bonded assemblies in the aerospace industry by using a combination of NDT methods, inline process inspection and mechanical testing during the manufacturing process.

To realise the stated objectives, SealedwithoUTaKiss brings together strong expertise in the areas of composites, adhesively bonded hybrid materials, kissing bond creation and aircraft component manufacturing from GMI; laser shock, inline inspection and defect detection algorithm development from BUL; and NDT techniques, ultrasonic guided waves, mechanical testing and adhesives in bonding from TWI.

SealedwithoUTaKiss will give the European aeronautical industry a technological and competitive advantage in the growing need for use of adhesively bonded assemblies in aircraft resulting in lightweight aircraft, enhanced performance, better fuel efficiency, lower cost and environmentally efficient flight operations.


Net EU contribution
€ 143 046,75
13 rue georges auric cap 19
75019 Paris

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Ile-de-France Ile-de-France Paris
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Other funding
€ 61 305,75

Participants (2)