• Thomas R. Hay, Ph.D., P.E

Phased Array Inspection of Aerospace Composites

Introduction to Phased Array Testing of Composites


Phased array ultrasonic testing (PAUT) of aerospace composites during the fabrication stage is an important quality control step to assure that composite structures do not contain delaminations, fiber defects, interlayer bonding issues, voids and ply cracking. Phased array testing of composites is comparably more challenging that testing metals due to the material anisotropy, high attenuation, and thin material thickness. However, conventional ultrasonic and phased array testing are deeply embedded in the aerospace composite inspection industry. The non-destructive testing is mainly applied using highly sophisticated fully automated multi-axis immersion, waterjet, bubbler systems and semi-automated inspection using roller probes. However, some non-destructive testing applications still require manual inspection to confirm inspection findings.