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  • NLA Diagnostics awarded an Army STTR Phase II grant

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (January 2, 2017) – NLA Diagnostics (NLAD) is pleased to announce the award of an Army STTR Subsequent Phase II contract to finalize the development of a concrete characterization tool for field use by the U.S. Army. This phase will complete the commercial rollout of technology developed in two prior contracts that demonstrated the ability to evaluate the material condition of a variety of concrete structures.

    Over the last four years, the NLAD research and development team has worked with the Civil Engineering College at North Carolina State University to validate the technology in both the laboratory and field environments. Principal and CEO Rick Webster said, “We are very proud that our Veteran Owned Enterprise is able to support the United States military in the development of resources for their mission critical needs.”

    NLA Diagnostics, LLC, a Veteran Owned Enterprise, designs and manufactures high-quality diagnostic testing equipment that identifies delaminations, disbonds, voids and thermal damage in composite and other advance materials through a field-portable device.  For more information, visit http://www.nladiagnostics.com.

    This material is based upon work supported by the U.S Army Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) Program Office and the U.S. Army Research Office under Contract No. W911NF-17-C-0025.

    Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S Army Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) Program Office and the U.S. Army Research Office.

  • NLA Diagnostics exhibits at HAI HELI-EXPO 2016

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    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (February 3, 2016) – NLA Diagnostics is excited to be exhibiting at the HAI HELI-EXPO on March 1-3 in Louisville, KY, with live demonstrations of the NLAD Cheetah taking place at booth #11439.

    Each year, Helicopter Association International (HAI) holds HAI HELI-EXPO, the world’s largest helicopter trade show and exposition. Thousands of operators, pilots, maintenance technicians, managers, and safety professionals come from around the world to see the latest in aircraft and technology, connect with vendors, and network with industry peers. They also come for the helicopter-specific educational opportunities, such as inspection authorization renewal, HAI Professional Education courses, and the Rotor Safety Challenge free safety education program. For more information, visit http://heliexpo.rotor.org/.

  • NLA Diagnostics joins the Association of the United States Army

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    WASHINGTON, DC, (October 12-14, 2015) – Senior leadership of NLA Diagnostics were in attendance, as new members, at the AUSA (Association of the United States Army), which is the largest land power exposition and professional development forum in North America.  The event is held every October in Washington, DC.

    Both Rick Webster, Principal, and Bill Choate, Managing Director spent three days meeting with numerous providers of aerospace components and aircraft.

    With the continuous introduction of composites into aircraft, NLAD’s technology is very effective in finding new ways to detect micro-cracking, delaminations and voids in composite materials.  “This was our first time attending the AUSA and it certainly met our expectations,” Webster says.  “We learned a lot and were able to visit with several providers that had not seen the NLAD technology.  It was well received and we now have next steps to follow up on,” Choate said.

    NLA Diagnostics, LLC, a Veteran Owned Enterprise, designs and manufactures high-quality diagnostic testing equipment that identifies delaminations, disbonds and voids in composite materials through a field-portable device.  For more information, visit http://www.nladiagnostics.com.

  • CAMX 2015 spotlights advanced testing for CFRP defects in aircraft structures

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (October 1, 2015) – Aldo Bellotti, director of engineering at NLA Diagnostics, LLC, will take the stage to discuss Impact Resonance Testing of Damaged Aerospace CFRP Materials and Structures at the upcoming CAMX 2015 (The Composites and Advanced Materials Expo). Decision-makers from aerospace and other industries will gather for the presentation on Thursday, October 29 from 9:30 – 9:55 a.m. in room D171 at the Dallas Convention Center.

    Bellotti’s talk will focus on comparing impact resonance testing and results for two typical types of honeycomb composites – 1) Nomex, the CFRP (carbon-fiber reinforced polymer) preferred for rotor blades on UH60 utility helicopters, and 2) aluminum honeycomb composites used for commercial aircraft inner fixed structure (IFS) applications. Impact resonance testing is a non-destructive test method that makes gentle impacts on the material to detect damage. Bellotti will explain how testing from one side of the structure can also detect damage on the opposite side.  Automatic analysis of the signal response and power spectra effectively differentiates between undamaged and damaged composite material.

    NLA Diagnostics makes a unique, handheld instrument called the NLAD Cheetah™ designed for performing impact resonance technique on various forms of aerospace materials and structures at a rate of 10 taps per second. Testing can be performed at a fraction of the time needed for subjective, manual tap testing. Such technological efficiency means those responsible for keeping aircraft airborne can accurately and easily test for damage right in the field, minimizing downtime incurred in transporting plane and helicopter components for lab testing.

    Bellotti’s presentation is tailored for anyone whose job depends on understanding how aircraft control surfaces, wings, rotary blades, nacelles, radomes, turbine fan blades, and fuselages can be compromised by impact damage from bird strikes and other projectiles, fatigue, and thermal damage during service. Even though defects created by faulty manufacturing are often not identifiable by visual inspection, they can also be located and monitored with impact resonance testing to prevent failure.

    About NLA Diagnostics

    NLA Diagnostics, a veteran-owned enterprise, was created to license and develop technology for the application of non-linear acoustic sound waves and resonance spectra analysis to identify stresses, defects and cracks in aircraft composite components and concrete. Its research and development unit, focused on accelerating the development of resonance technology and expanding its non-linear capabilities, was opened in 2010.  More at NLADiagnostics.com

    About CAMX

    With 550 exhibitors from around the globe, 300 conference program sessions and more than 7,100 industry contacts, CAMX is known as the place to learn about new research and developments from advanced materials experts. It was created by ACMA (American Composites Manufacturers Organization) and SAMPE (Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering) to connect communities devoted to advanced materials applications in transportation, aerospace, marine, wind energy, software, construction and infrastructure, medical, academics, sports and leisure. More at thecamx.org

  • NLAD Cheetah helps aircraft return to the air in record time

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (September 17, 2015) – NLA Diagnostics (NLAD) has announced that its newest non-destructive tester is making history in improving military and aerospace maintenance operations. The NLAD Cheetah™ testing device enables routine inspections of composite materials in a fraction of the time needed for manual tap testing. Such technological efficiency means those responsible for keeping planes and helicopters airborne can accurately and easily test for damage right in the field, minimizing downtime incurred in preparing vulnerable components for lab testing.

    How it works

    The hand-held, easily deployed NLAD Cheetah greatly reduces aircraft downtime by enhancing routine inspection procedures. Even more vital, it can provide rapid, in-the-field “first aid” assessment testing in cases of suspected impact damage from bird strikes, overheating, lightning and other physical trauma.  The Cheetah device gives immediate and accurate feedback as to whether disbondings, delamination or degradation has occurred in rotary wings, fuselages and other structures made of today’s advanced composite materials. At a time when more and more flight-critical components are made of composites, the NLAD Cheetah is poised to make a major impact on aviation operations far into the future.

    The time-consuming old way

    For decades, aircraft parts suspected of damage often had to be fully disassembled and transported to a soundproof testing room. With structures such as jet engine nacelles, parts had to be removed to test composite material on both inside and outside surfaces.

    The fast new way

    Today the NLAD Cheetah can test both far-side and near-side laminates and bonds from the near-side surface, all right in the field using Impact Resonance Testing. As NLAD’s Rapid Electro-Mechanical Impact Hammer (REMIH) taps the composite material’s surface, vibrations are recorded by an acoustic broadband receiver and analyzed to determine the integrity of the material. Such exacting technology enables detection of a disbond on either side of a composite structure without disassembling it.

    Saving labor and adding speed

    The NLAD Cheetah is simple to operate, so teaching untrained personnel to use it is quick and easy. Suspected damage can be rapidly quantified, saving time and money by eliminating premature or unnecessary repairs often performed following subjective, manual tap testing.  

    Unlike other testing devices that are complicated to operate, the NLAD Cheetah is as simple to use as a typical smart phone app. It delivers results multiple times faster than the time-consuming method of tap testing, responding in real-time with a green, yellow or red light to indicate material condition as pass, intermediate or fail.  With the NLAD Cheetah in hand, teams of testers can operate at peak efficiency.

    About NLA Diagnostics

    NLA Diagnostics, a veteran-owned enterprise, was created to license and develop technology for the application of non-linear acoustic sound waves and resonance spectra analysis to identify stresses, defects and cracks in aircraft composite components and concrete. Its research and development unit focused on accelerating the development of resonance technology and expanding its non-linear capabilities was opened in 2010. Learn more about how NLA technology for aerospace and other industries is making the future stronger and safer for all of us. More at NLADiagnostics.com.

  • NLA Diagnostics Introduces the NLAD Cheetah at the Aviation Week MRO 2015

    Miami, April 14, 2015 – The NLAD team, led by Principal Rick Webster and Managing Director Bill Choate, presented their company’s technology and introduced the NLAD Cheetah to the nondestructive testing community.

    The dramatic increase in the use of composite materials on critical flight surfaces has accentuated the need for a field-portable solution to test these parts for structural integrity while remaining “on-wing.” Mr. Webster noted that “clients have repeatedly asked for a field-portable device that is easy to use by an untrained operator and has the ability to record the data. This challenge was accepted by the NLAD research and development group, and is now realized in the NLAD Cheetah.”

    The NLAD Cheetah successfully merges simplicity and accuracy in composite damage detection. A handheld device weighing 1.75 pounds, it quickly identifies disbonds, delaminations and voids in a wide range of advanced materials.

    The Aviation Week MRO provides an excellent forum to introduce new technology to tier 1 companies and open new markets in the aviation maintenance community. “This show was very productive and generated many opportunities with US-based companies, furthered the development of the Japanese markets and concluded the first sales of the NLAD Cheetah,” observed Mr. Choate.

    NLA Diagnostics, LLC, a Veteran Owned Enterprise, designs and manufactures high-quality diagnostic testing equipment that identifies delaminations, disbonds, voids and thermal damage in composite and other advance materials through a field-portable device.  For more information, visit http://www.nladiagnostics.com.

  • NLA Diagnostics Showcase Technology at Farnborough International Airshow

    Charlotte, NC, July 21, 2014 – Two senior executives of Charlotte, NC based NLA Diagnostics attended the Farnborough Airshow as part of the North Carolina delegation to present their companies’ technology.

    Principal, Rick Webster and Managing Director, Bill Choate spent five days at the show sharing their company’s technology with aerospace companies eager to find new cost effective ways to identify micro-cracking, delaminations and voids in composite materials.  Attendees at the Farnborough International Airshow were particularly interested in NLAD’s ability to detect far-side damage to composite material from the near-side, in many cases where the material remains on the aircraft.

    Aerospace companies are now offering a new wide range of performance options with the integration of light weight composite materials into the aircraft, thus offering aircraft the advantage of weight reduction and additional strength.  NLA Diagnostics has taken the lead in offering a unique way to identify defects and damage before these areas become critical.

    Farnborough, like the Paris Airshow, is a unique opportunity for company executives to expand their markets to tier 1 companies and also open new markets to composite manufacturers in the aerospace business.  “This trip was unique for NLAD, as we were able to have very constructive dialogues with a large number of European aircraft manufacturers eager to see new technology in the non-destructive testing area.  “We were thrilled with the proactive reception we received,” Webster says

    NLA Diagnostics, LLC, a Veteran-Owned Enterprise, designs and manufactures high-quality diagnostic testing equipment that identifies delamination, disbands, voids and thermal damage in composite and other advance materials through a field-portable device.  For more information, visit http://www.nladiagnostics.com.

  • NLA Diagnostics joins N.C. Department of Commerce at 2013 Paris Air Show

    CHARLOTTE, NC, June 28, 2013 –Two executives from Charlotte-based NLA Diagnostics (NLAD) were part of a contingent representing the North Carolina Department of Commerce who recently traveled “across the pond” to make an impression on new markets abroad.

    Principle Rick Webster and Managing Director, Global Development, Bill Choate spent four days at the Paris Air Show, sharing their company’s technologies with show attendees eager to find better ways to perform high-quality diagnostic testing to identify stresses, defects and cracks in aircraft and other composite structures. “Interest in NLAD technology was very keen,” Webster says, “particularly the ability to detect far-side damage in honeycomb composite structures while testing from the near side.”

    In the 21st century, composite materials have provided new performance options for a wide range of mission-critical aerospace 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 and other leading-edge products. 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.

    The Paris event, known as the world’s oldest and largest aviation show, allowed the company’s ambassadors to execute the dual goals of expanding markets for Tier 1 companies, and opening markets with composite manufacturers in both France and Great Britain. “NLAD’s exclusively licensed technology was developed in Europe by a consortium of universities and institutions led by the University of Exeter in England, so our company has its foundation in cooperative international endeavors,” Choate says. “The Paris Air Show proved to be a perfect fit for us, and the experience was made even better because of the N.C. Department of Commerce’s dedication to promoting companies based in North Carolina.”

    NLA Diagnostics, LLC, a Veteran-Owned Enterprise, designs and manufactures high-quality diagnostic testing equipment that identifies delamination, disbands, voids and thermal damage in composite and other advanced materials through a field-portable device.  For more information, visit http://www.nladiagnostics.com.

    “Interest in NLAD technology was very keen, particularly the ability to detect far side damage in honeycomb composite structures while testing from the near side.” – Rick Webster

  • Coltraco signs on as exclusive agent for NLA Diagnostics in the EU

    CHARLOTTE, NC, February 12, 2013 – NLA Under a newly signed agreement, Coltraco, Ltd. will serve as exclusive agent for NLA Diagnostics in the European Union. The agreement allows Coltraco, based in London, England to market and promote sales of the NLA DEFENDER® on behalf of NLA Diagnostics.

    The product is the world’s first portable instrument designed to accurately detect and assess micro-damage in a wide range of composite and other advanced materials. Developed for aerospace and military applications, the NLA Defender enables manufacturers, suppliers and users of aviation and armor components to perform non-destructive testing of critical material integrity at any point from fabrication to field operation. The lightweight and portable NLA Defender is especially suited for field deployment, as well as for use in maintenance bays.

    Rick Webster, principal and CEO of NLA Diagnostics, says his company is very excited and pleased to have forged this new relationship with Coltraco.  “We now have a direct distribution network into the EU with the leader in ultrasonic design and manufacturing of specialized ultrasonic monitoring equipment.  It’s a great fit for both parties and will enhance product access for potential customers.”

    NLA Diagnostics, LLC, a Veteran Owned Enterprise, designs and manufactures high quality diagnostic testing equipment which identifies delamination, disbonds, voids and thermal damage in composite and other advance materials, through a field-portable device.  For more information, visit www.nladiagnostics.com.

    Coltraco, Ltd. is an ISO 9001 manufacturer of a specialized range of ultrasonic monitoring and preventative maintenance instruments used in the marine, fire protection, off-shore energy and defense industries.  For more information visitwww.coltraco.co.uk.

  • NLA Diagnostics LLC of Charlotte, NC announces the enhanced NLA DEFENDER®

    CHARLOTTE, NC, September 1, 2011 – NLA Diagnostics has completed the design of the NLA DEFENDER® (non-destructive test equipment) and started initial production in North Carolina. The first units were off the production line in March 2011. The NLA DEFENDER® is the world’s first portable instrument designed to accurately detect and assess micro-damage in a wide range of composite and advanced materials.

    The NLA DEFENDER® provides two non-destructive testing (NDT) methods: a non-linear ultrasonic test method and a resonance analysis test method. They both utilize a wideband transducer receiver designed and built by NLA Diagnostics, which provides detection of ultrasonic response from 2 kHz to 1 MHZ.

    The NLA DEFENDER® has the capability to transmit sine wave bursts at 50 kHz, 60 kHz, and 80 kHz using narrow band high gain transmitter transducers. These sine waves are used in the non-linear ultrasonic test method to capture harmonic and overtone generation caused by micro cracking or delamination of the material under test.

    For the resonance analysis test method, NLA Diagnostics designed and manufactured a new impact hammer that provides manual excitation for the material under test such as composite structures. A green LED indicator on the impact hammer allows the operator to easily confirm a good data acquisition before going to the next test.

    The NLA DEFENDER® is a rugged handheld instrument for finding various forms of damage in aerospace Carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) materials and other structures that are of increasing importance in the aerospace industry, due to their low weight and high strength. In modern aircraft the fuselage and wings can be made from more than 50% composite materials, the most important being constructed of carbon fiber sheets and metal honeycomb sandwich structures. The strength of these composites can be compromised by defects caused by impact damage and fatigue during service or by faulty manufacturing. The most common defects are delamination and disbonding of the carbon fiber sheets, and bond failure to the metal honeycomb. These defects might not always be identifiable by visual inspection; it is important that they can be located and monitored to prevent failure of the affected part or component.

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