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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