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IMPROVING THE RELIABILITY, QUALITY AND COST-EFFECTIVENESS OF THE INSPECTION OF SAFETY CRITICAL STRUCTURES

Objective


BRITE/EURAM programme BE5145 has focussed on the issues concerning the provision of more reliable, more cost-effective inspection of aircraft structures. It has done this by addressing the whole of the inspection process as applied to carbon-composite and metal-to-metal bonded structures.

The project has used a set of specimens containing controlled defects to measure the reliability of a number of present inspection techniques, using the concept of inspection validation. The programme has developed a number of evolving techniques that possibly offer more reliability and/or more cost-benefit to the inspection community. These have been assessed in the same validation environment. This has permitted a direct comparison of the present techniques, and resulted in objective statements of what defect conditions can be reliably detected, where there have been improvements, and also where further work should now be focused.

In parallel, the issue of non-destructive testing (NDT) inspection procedures has been addressed. It has been shown that two new procedures, developed under this programme (and therefore termed 'BRITE/EURAM procedures'), and which aimed to amalgamate and improve on specific inspection problems, are superior to present practice. This improvement has been quantified through validation. The work has also provided guidelines on how the writing of procedures may be used to increase the reliability of any inspection technique.
The objective of this programme is to improve the reliability, quality and cost-effectiveness of the inspection of safety critical structures. This will be achieved by adopting a unique, innovative Systems Approach to inspection technology development which considers all of the factors affecting reliability (equipment, working conditions, human factors, written procedures) in an integrated manner. Such an approach ensures that the technology developed has maximum reliability and can be introduced onto the shop floor in the minimum timeframe.

The programme will concentrate on R&D of shearography, thermography and advanced ultrasonics which have the potential to provide usable systems to inspect large areas of composites and bonded joints rapidly and reliably in both an in-service and a manufacturing environment. A significant amount of effort is also devoted to the training of staff in the use of the technology developed. This is particularly important given the participation of a range of different types of organisations (manufacturers, end-users, university, research centre) from, in some cases, less technically advanced regions of the Community.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA)
Address
Harwell Laboratory
OX11 0RA Didcot
United Kingdom

Participants (11)

Airbus Industrie
France
Address
1 Rond-point Maurice Bellonte
31707 Blagnac
Alenia SpA
Italy
Address
Viale Dell' Aeronautica
80038 Napoli
Alitalia Linee Aeree Italiane SpA
Italy
Address
Aeroporto Di Fiumicino
00050 Fiumicino Roma
British Aerospace plc
United Kingdom
Address
No 8 D O
BS99 7AR Bristol
Daimler-Benz Aerospace Airbus GmbH
Germany
Address
Hünefeldstraße 1-5
28199 Bremen
Lufthansa AG
Germany
Address
Weg Beim Jäger 193
22335 Hamburg
Monarch Aircraft Engineering Ltd
United Kingdom
Address
Luton International Airport
LU2 9LX Luton
OFICINAS GERALS DE MATERIAL AERONAUTIC
Portugal
Address
Alverca
2615 Alverca
SAAB SCANIA AB
Sweden
Address

581 88 Linkoping
Short Brothers plc
United Kingdom
Address
Airport Road
BT3 9DZ Belfast
UNIV LIMERICK
Ireland
Address
The Nat. Technological Park
61 Limerick