The effect of positional instability on the detection of barely visible impact damage in composites using a mobile thermographic inspection robot

The effect of positional instability on the detection of barely visible impact damage in composites using a mobile thermographic inspection robot

Jaslyn Gray, Mark Richards, Peter Muir, Hamish Self, Cedric Rosalie, Nik Rajic

download PDF

Abstract. As the use of composite materials continues to expand within the aerospace domain and elsewhere, the demand for rapid impact damage detection capabilities is also increasing. Line-scan thermography (LST) is a promising inspection modality where a light source focused to a line is swept over a structural component and sub-surface damage is highlighted as a thermal signature detectable via infrared imaging. This paper presents a rapid LST robotic inspection system combining ground-based robotics, advanced infrared imaging technology and dynamic image processing that is capable of achieving detection of barely visible impact damage in composite structures. The robotic system is evaluated experimentally on carbon fibre composite laminate specimens containing synthetic flat-bottom-hole defects, at scan speeds ranging from 25 mm/s to 100 mm/s. A study into the effect of positional instability on the capacity of the inspection system to detect damage is undertaken by introducing controlled perturbations in the robot path. Finite element modelling is also presented and verified against experimental results. Understanding the effect of positional instability on defect detection is important as work progresses towards an aerial drone-based implementation of this inspection capability.

Line Scan Thermography, Composite Materials, Positional Instability, Non-Destructive Inspection, Robotic Inspection, Infrared Imaging

Published online 3/30/2023, 9 pages
Copyright © 2023 by the author(s)
Published under license by Materials Research Forum LLC., Millersville PA, USA

Citation: Jaslyn Gray, Mark Richards, Peter Muir, Hamish Self, Cedric Rosalie, Nik Rajic, The effect of positional instability on the detection of barely visible impact damage in composites using a mobile thermographic inspection robot, Materials Research Proceedings, Vol. 27, pp 50-58, 2023


The article was published as article 7 of the book Structural Health Monitoring

Content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.

[1] V. Giurgiutiu, Structural Health Monitoring of Aerospace Composites, Elsevier Inc, 2016, pp. 1-23.
[2] V. Giurgiutiu, V, Structural health monitoring (SHM) of aerospace composites, in: Woodhead Publishing Series in Composites Science and Engineering – Polymer Composites in the Aerospace Industry, second ed., Woodhead Publishing, 2020, pp. 491-558.
[3] J. Morton, E.W. Godwin, Impact response of tough carbon fibre composites, Composite Structures. 13(1) (1989) 1-19.
[4] L. Connollya, D. O’Gormana, E. Tobin, Design and Development of a low-cost Inspection UAS prototype for Visual Inspection of Aircraft, Transportation Research Procedia. 59 (2021) 85–94.
[5] S. Gholizadeh, A review of non-destructive testing methods of composite materials, XV Portuguese Conference on Fracture, Procedia Structural Integrity. 1 (2016) 050–057.
[6] S. Deane, N.P. Avdelidis, C. Ibarra-Castanedo, H. Zhang, H.Y. Nezhad, A.A. Williamson, T. Mackley, M.J. Davis, M. Maldague, A. Tsourdos, Application of NDT thermographic imaging of aerospace structures, Infrared Physics and Technology. 97 (2019), 456-466.
[7] L.E. Mavromatidis, J.L. Dauvergne, R. Lunazzi, J.C. Batsale, First experiments for the diagnosis and thermophysical sampling using pulsed IR thermography from unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Quantitative InfraRed Thermography. (2014) 1-8.
[8] V. Kostopoulos, S. Psarras, T. Loutas, G. Sotiriadis, I. Gray, M.J Padiyar, I. Petrunin, J. Raposo, L.Z. Fragonara, V. Tzitzilonis, K. Dassios, D. Exarchos, G. Andrikopoulos, G. Nikolakopoulos, Autonomous Inspection and Repair of Aircraft Composite Structures, IFAC-Papers OnLine. 51(30) (2018) 554-557.
[9] M. Alhammad, N. P. Avdelidis, S. Deane, C. Ibarra-Castanedo, S. Pant, P. Nooralishahi, M. Ahmadi, M. Genest, A. Zolotas, L. Zanotti-Fragonara, J. Valdes, X. P. V. Maldague, Diagnosis of composite materials in aircraft applications: towards a UAV active thermography inspection approach, Proc. SPIE 11743, Thermosense: Thermal Infrared Applications XLIII. 1174306 (2021).
[10] A. Ellenberg, A. Kontsos, F. Moon, I. Bartoli, Bridge deck delamination identification from unmanned aerial vehicle infrared imagery, Automation in Construction. 72 (2016) 155-165.
[11] K. Cramer, D.F. Perey, J.L. Brown, The application of line scan thermography using multiple collaborative robots, Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation. (2019).
[12] M. Lison, P. Hendrick, P. Servais, Y. Dufour, Evaluation of NDT by robotic line scan thermography on composite air-craft parts, Proceedings of the 11th International Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring, IWSHM 2017. 1 (2017) 86-93.
[13] F. Khodayar, F. Lopez, C. Ibarra-Castanedo, X. and Maldague, Optimization of the Inspection of Large Composite Materials Using Robotized Line Scan Thermography, Journal of Nondestructive Evaluation. 36 (2017), 1-15.
[14] S. Deane, N. P. Avdelidis, C. Ibarra-Castanedo, A.A Williamson, S. Withers, A. Zolotas, X. Maldague, M. Ahmadi, S. Pant, M. Genest, H.A. Rabearivelo, A. Tsourdos, Development of a thermal excitation source used in an active thermographic UAV platform, Quantitative InfraRed Thermography Journal. (2022) 1-32.
[15] J. Moran, N. Rajic, Remote line scan thermography for the rapid inspection of composite impact damage, Composite Structures. 208 (2019) 442-453.
[16] J. Gray, M. Woodrow, C. Rosalie, N. Rajic, Comparative evaluation of a high operating temperature midwave infrared detector for automated non-destructive inspection of composite damage, Materials Research Proceedings, 8APWSHM. 18 (2020) 29-36.
[17] J. Gray, P. Muir, J. Denny, C. Rosalie, H. Self, N. Rajic, Rapid non-destructive inspection of composite laminates using robotic line-scan thermography. AIAC 2021: 19th Australian International Aerospace Congress. 1 (2021) 393-399.
[18] X. Maldague, S. Marinetti, Pulse phase infrared thermography, Applied Physics. 79 (1996) 2694-2698.
[19] K. Lynch, F. Park, F, Modern Robotics: Mechanics, Planning and Control, Cambridge University Press, 2017, Ch. 13, pp 513-527.
[20] M. Crenganis, C. Biris, C. Girjob, Mechatronic Design of a Four-Wheel drive mobile robot and differential steering, MATEC Web Conference. 343 (2021).