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Nondestructive testing of contaminated CFRP surfaces with the BonNDTinspect® system

: Kraft, André; Brune, Kai; Tornow, Cristian; Mühlhofer, Gudrun; Mayer, Bernd; Valeske, Bernd

Fulltext (PDF; )

Applied Adhesion Science 5 (2017), Art. 14, 21 pp.
ISSN: 2196-4351
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IFAM ()
Fraunhofer IZFP ()
NDT; release agent; adhesive bonding; inline detection; aerosol-wetting test

Composite materials are already being used in the mass production of structural components in the automotive industry, particularly at the BMW Group. Adhesive bonding is generally considered to be the best technique for joining CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) light-weight structures. The conventional NDT (nondestructive testing) methods currently being used focus on the detection of material defects, e.g. debonding. These methods give little information about the surface properties or bond quality. A new ENDT (extended nondestructive testing) method is the BonNDTinspect system, based on a patent held by the Fraunhofer IFAM. An ultrasonic atomizer nozzle creates a water-aerosol and the small water droplets are sprayed onto the surface. Depending on the surface properties (surface energy or contamination state), the aerosol will form wide or narrow drops on the surface. We determined a test for certain contaminations, including release agents, oil, and fingerprints, the detection of which is critical to ensure the performance of adhesively joined CFRP structures. The BonNDTinspect system is an inline-capable NDT technique that is suitable for distinguishing surface states for adhesive bonding of CFRP. We verify this statement with destructive tests, including the single-lap shear test. It was found by using an extension of the evaluation criteria that it is possible to detect contamination such as water-soluble release agent, CFRP dust and fingerprints. The investigated contamination with hydraulic oil allows only a clear differentiation between cleaned and contaminated. A contamination with corundum is not detectable by the BonNDTinspect system alone.