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aerospace

Aerospace industry is one of the most demanding concerning quality, performance and reliability standards.

Nowadays, commercial aircrafts and others flying devices are more and more abundant and carry out many tasks. They all need to meet strict requirements to respect the international standards.

At first, security and reliability have to be assured: because they are very sophisticated and using high technology individual components, rockets, drones, helicopters, orbiting satellites and common aircrafts need to have a deep insight inspection. Every part goes through an entire quality process before being assembled inside the final system.

A more recent challenge is heading to energy efficiency combined with an increasing climate awareness: every new aerospace project is now taking these problematics into account and parts are designed with more environment friendly materials and advanced shapes used to reduce weight and increase performance.

X-ray Computed Tomography (CT), being non-destructive, fast, accurate and accessible, is now opening new options to inspect complex aerospace components.

Turbine blades, Pitot tubes, cast parts, additive manufactured housings, electronic sensors, landing gears or wing parts, they all can be scanned with a CT system designed and manufactured by RX Solutions.

The main advantage is that this technology is non destructive. Whatever the part that needs to be scanned, it does not need to be modified, cut or opened in order to check it. This is a very important feature when measuring internal vent holes drilled inside a turbine blade after the cast process or when looking for damages inside an honeycomb structure.

One of the main capabilities for X-ray CT results lies on the fact to be independent from the sample complexity. In a word, even if the geometry is very sophisticated and contains non-rigid structures or very detailed lattice arrangements, the scan will not be affected. It is then possible to perform a three dimensional reconstruction of internal walls inside a turbine component or a porosity analysis through a welded area.

From turbine blade geometry inspection to fiber-reinforced composite materials analysis, X-ray CT provides a wide range of results helping aerospace experts to qualify their parts.

Aerospace components are often very expensive to manufacture. They go through several complex operations which assures them a significant added value. Thanks to its non-destructive behaviour, X-ray CT can be used to validate the single phase or the entire manufacturing process.

Composite materials are good candidates for x-ray CT analysis. Before machining the parts, composite manufacturers are able to look for delamination areas, non homogeneities inside the resin or fiber orientation issues in the raw material. Statistics concerning fibers can be provided and help aeronautic engineers to decide whether or not this structural material should be going through the next manufacturing steps.

Wall thickness can be calculated from any shapes and geometries, allowing final inspection to take account of possible bad drilling creating potential weak areas in the part. Entire blade turbine can be scanned in order to inspect the cooling path structure. Wear and erosion can also be checked by using an actual/model comparison. This analysis provides a nice heat map of the scanned part by comparing it with its Computer Aided Design (CAD) model.

It is also possible to generate a mesh from external and internal structures quite easily with X-Ray CT. Point clouds can then be used as input parameters inside a finite element model, to perform comparison against an existing CAD file or create a new CAD through a reverse engineering process. The finite element analysis allows simulations to be more accurate by computing mechanical stress, strain, displacement or flow behaviour on the real part geometries taking voids, porosities, dense inclusions or cracks into consideration.

RX Solutions provides a large product line allowing its aerospace customers to examine closely tiny advanced composite material samples but also mid-sized wing or fuselage parts.