Ultrasonic Guided Waves for Lap Splice Joint Inspection in Aging Aircraft
The integrity and reliability of adhesive joints in structural applications has long been a critical issue. Failure of these bonds during service could be catastrophic. In particular, the aviation industry due to its progressively aging fleet calls for a reliable non-destructive testing technique to characterize the bond quality. Several NDE techniques were developed each with its own advantages and disadvantages. [1–2] Utilization of ultrasonic guided waves offer a reliable and time efficient method.  Following several laboratory studies this technique was tested on a service damaged aircraft at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM. A Double Spring Hopping Probe (DSHP) was developed and tested on this test bed. A protocol for the inspection of lap splices and tear strap was established. The concepts of utilization of wave structure in mode selection, angle and frequency tuning for optimal use of the Lamb type guided waves are addressed. Highlights of our recent work on aging aircraft inspection are presented in this paper. The work expands on our earlier presentations. 
KeywordsDispersion Curve Wave Structure Frequency Tuning Adhesive Joint Sandia National Laboratory
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