Research Papers

In Situ Thermal Nondestructive Evaluation for Assessing Part Quality During Composite Automated Fiber Placement

[+] Author and Article Information
Elizabeth Gregory

NASA Langley Research Center,
Hampton, VA 23681
e-mail: elizabeth.d.gregory@nasa.gov

Peter Juarez

NASA Langley Research Center,
Hampton, VA 23681
e-mail: peter.d.juarez@nasa.gov

Manuscript received January 26, 2018; final manuscript received July 2, 2018; published online August 16, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Mark Derriso.This material is declared a work of the U.S. Government and is not subject to copyright protection in the United States. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

ASME J Nondestructive Evaluation 1(4), 041007 (Aug 16, 2018) (6 pages) Paper No: NDE-18-1003; doi: 10.1115/1.4040764 History: Received January 26, 2018; Revised July 02, 2018

This paper presents data from an innovative nondestructive evaluation (NDE) method for automated composite fiber placement fabrication. Using Infrared images of the fiber, as it was being placed, we are able to provide valuable information about the quality of the part during fabrication. Herein, we discuss the methodology for data collection and processing. The described in situ thermal NDE process is found to be applicable for identifying fiber tow overlaps, gaps, twists, puckering, and poor ply adhesion prior to cure, thereby reducing the time and cost associated with post cure flaw repair or scrapping parts. This paper also describes the process of assembling data sets for an entire part beyond simple frame by frame analysis. Example data sets for both a flat part and a larger cylindrical part are presented to demonstrate the type of defect characterization information that can be obtained.

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Fig. 1

The automated fiber placement process

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Fig. 2

Example of actual visual inspection of a composite AFP part

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Fig. 3

Model of heat transfer in the AFP process

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Fig. 4

Integrated thermal camera on ISAAC AFP system at NASA Langley

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Fig. 5

Example of a single frame of data collected by the integrated thermal camera on ISAAC AFP system at NASA Langley. (a) In situ thermal image of tow-steered course showing some tow peel-up. (b) In situ thermal image of tow-steered course without tow peel-up.

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Fig. 6

Example of how the data cube is assemble for the collected data for analysis

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Fig. 7

The risk mitigation panel for the GO-1 cylinder. This unfolded panel included some of the feature of main concern in the cylinder.

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Fig. 8

Temporally aligned in situ Thermography data, deviation from the expected value for the GO-1 risk mitigation panel before (a) and after a debulking cycle (b). (a) Predebulk deviation from the expected value. (b) Postdebulk deviation from the expected value.

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Fig. 9

Comparison of the deviation from the expected value

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Fig. 10

Temporally aligned in situ thermography data for the GO-1 cylinder before (a) and after a debulking cycle (b). (a) Predebulk deviation from the expected value. (b) Postdebulk deviation from the expected value.

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Fig. 11

Comparison of the deviation from the expected value

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Fig. 12

Postcure thermal line scan of GO-1 cylinder



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