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Comparison of drilled hole quality evaluation in CFRP/CFRP stacks using optical and ultrasonic non-destructive inspection

: Caggiano, A.; Nele, L.


Machining Science and Technology 22 (2018), No.5, pp.865-880
ISSN: 1091-0344
Journal Article
Fraunhofer J LEAPT ()

In aeronautical industry, stringent requirements relate to the quality of drilled holes in carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) composite laminates as low hole quality determines poor assembly tolerance, structural properties reduction, and risk for long-term part performance. Non-destructive quality control techniques were applied to drilled CFRP laminate stacks for aeronautical applications to characterize the material damage induced by drilling in order to assess the hole quality for product acceptability. Experimental metrology procedures, including optical measurements and ultrasonic non-destructive evaluation, were employed to appraise both external and internal induced material damage in holes machined under diverse drilling conditions. The optical inspection procedure, comparable to the visual inspection method regularly utilized in industry, provided delaminated area evaluations that are underestimated in the case of severe drilling conditions by up to 7% for hole exit and up to 5% for hole entry. In the case of less severe drilling conditions, the underestimation was limited to <2.5% for both hole exit and hole entry, which can be considered a practically negligible disparity.