Did you know flying is over 20 times safer than driving a car?
This fact shows us how meticulously airlines maintain their planes. Aircraft components such as wings and fuselage are made from aluminium alloys. The exterior body is constantly under heat, friction, pressure and extreme temperatures at high altitudes. Under such conditions, metals tend to expand, contract, crack or corrode. At their average velocity (800 km/h), even insignificant flaws can aggravate and cause irreparable damage. Similarly, aircraft wheels that undergo tremendous brake pressure during take-off and landing can cause landing gear failure.
To maintain an aircraft’s safety and performance, compliance with airworthiness requirements and repair is of utmost importance. Flight safety inspection ranges from overhaul, inspection, replacement, and fault rectification to predictive maintenance, diagnostics and health monitoring. Regular inspections, followed by more thorough examinations at predetermined maintenance intervals, define the aircraft’s airworthiness.
Conventional testing methods such as Magnetic Particle Testing and Dye Penetrant Testing are time-consuming, require long preparation periods, work only on specific materials and offer only a limited traceability record. These methods cannot detect subsurface flaws, which can be extremely dangerous to overlook.
Eddy current testing (ECT) is a non-destructive testing (NDT) approach for testing conductive materials using electromagnetic induction. This method is particularly well suited for detecting service-induced cracks usually caused by fatigue or corrosion. ECT combines electricity and magnetism to create a magnetic field on the conductive metal surface. The technicians look for variations in electrical conductivity readings of the magnetic field that indicate an irregularity.
Applications of ECT in Aircraft Inspection include
Saving time is of utmost importance when it comes to aircraft inspection. Airlines cannot afford unnecessary downtime as the tarmac space is expensive. The planes cannot recover these costs as long as they are grounded. Airlines always prefer a faster, more reliable, cost-effective maintenance method to take the airplane off the ground as quickly as possible. While conventional methods are dependable in their application, none of them offers the versatility, speed and accuracy of Eddy Current Technology.
The most considerable upgrade from conventional techniques is the complete absence of preparation time. E.g., The NORTEC 600 Eddy Current Flaw Detector equipment is a cost-friendly, portable, and easy-to-calibrate alternative to the traditional methods. Less preparation time helps the operator move quickly to the next inspection segment.
Also, due to aircraft geometry, most conventional testing methods find it challenging to reach tight corners. Once Eddy Current probes come into play, components from the massive fuselage to the smallest bolt-hole, everything becomes instantly accessible.
The flexibility of probes:
Finally, real-time reporting on display saves the time required to calculate the severity manually. Aircraft regulations are incredibly stringent and keep evolving to safeguard the passengers and the crew. Computerized results are thus crucial to provide accurate results that can be stored and revisited.
Switch to Eddy Current Technology, such as the NORTEC 600 Eddy Current Flaw Detector, to quickly detect surface and subsurface flaws before the cracks get dangerously large. From calibration to reporting, finish and move to your next inspection faster.
Blue Star E&E offers a range of eddy current flaw detectors and essential customized probes to reach tough spots. Reach us to know more about the Eddy Current Products