NLA Diagnostics

Composite Materials Testing: A Non-Destructive Solution

In the 21st century, composite materials have provided new performance options for a wide range of mission-critical applications. Carbon composites combine lightness in weight, incredible strength and resistance to environmental effects when used to produce nacelles (jet engine cowls), helicopter rotor blades, composite fan blades and other leading-edge products.

In industries such as aerospace and defense, composite materials including carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), carbon fiber sheets and metal honeycomb sandwich structures enhance the performance of fuselages, and wings.

When Composites Go Bad

The downside of using composites and ceramic materials lies in potential defects that can occur during manufacturing processes, as well as field and commercial use, such as:

  • Disbonds
  • Kissing bond damage
  • Delaminations
  • Thermal degradation
  • Occlusions
  • Voids

NLA Diagnostics has taken the lead in composite materials testing through a unique, non-destructive means of detecting and locating defects and damage at their earliest stages—before they become safety critical. Contact us to learn more about current projects, our latest products, and how NLA Diagnostics is innovating Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Procedures and achieving product life cycle extension with non-linear acoustic (NLA) testing.

Current NDI Applications

NLA Diagnostics’ latest device, the NLAD Cheetah, merges simplicity and accuracy in composite damage detection. This handheld inspection tool provides simple PASS/FAIL indications by rapidly tapping a structure’s surface and analyzing the material vibrations, in both the time and frequency domains. The NLAD Cheetah eliminates the human subjectivity of traditional tap testing, increasing precision while requiring minimal training. This NDI technology can be used to test a wide array of composite structures, such as:

  • Rotary Blades/Wings
  • Aircraft Control Surfaces
  • Nacelles and Airframes
  • Radomes
  • Turbine Fan Blades
  • Aircraft Fuselages
  • Automotive passenger cells
  • Automotive body panels
  • Sailboat spars and masts
  • Boat hulls