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In-plane heatwave thermography as digital inspection technique for fasteners in aircraft fuselage panels

: Stamm, Michael; Krüger, Peter; Pfeiffer, Helge; Köhler, Bernd; Reynaert, Johan; Wevers, Martine

Fulltext ()

Applied Sciences 11 (2021), No.1, Art. 132, 19 pp.
ISSN: 2076-3417
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IKTS ()
aerospace; riveted lap joints; in-plane heatwave thermography; scanning laser doppler vibrometer; ultrasound lock-in thermography

The inspection of fasteners in aluminium joints in the aviation industry is a time consuming and costly but mandatory task. Until today, the manual procedure with the bare eye does not allow the temporal tracking of a damaging behavior or the objective comparison between different inspections. A digital inspection method addresses both aspects while resulting in a significant inspection time reduction. The purpose of this work is to develop a digital and automated inspection method based on In-plane Heatwave Thermography and the analysis of the disturbances due to thermal irregularities in the plate-like structure. For this, a comparison study with Ultrasound Lock-in Thermography and Scanning Laser Doppler Vibrometry as well as a benchmarking of all three methods on one serviceable aircraft fuselage panel is performed. The presented data confirm the feasibility to detect and to qualify countersunk rivets and screws in aluminium aircraft fuselage panels with the discussed methods. The results suggest a fully automated inspection procedure which combines the different approaches and a study with more samples to establish thresholds indicating intact and damaged fasteners.