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Inspection of aerospace structures by IR thermography and optical vibrometry - Belgium  

KU Leuven (company)


Posted on : 07 May 2017

Project Description

  • The research work will focus on the non-destructive testing (NDT) of aircraft components, potentially leading to a Ph.D. degree. 
  • The major research objectives are: 
    •  To extend and validate an optical vibrometry method for the detection of defects byexploiting cross-modulation effects caused by their nonlinear elastic behavior 
    • To develop an active thermography (STH) technique for the inspection of composite materials that uses simultaneously different heating sources associated a different physical phenomena, e.g. flash-STH, induction-STH and vibro-STH;
    •  To compare the sensitivity of the two techniques on a range of different structures and defect types (natural cracks, delaminations) and evaluate their performances. 
  • Non-linear optical vibrometry allows the detection of defects, such as closed defects, that do not cause reflection or mode conversion of acoustic waves; multi-physics TH should enhance the defect detection efficiency by naturally fusing information of various techniques. 
  • Both techniques are in a prototype stage and the long-term objective is to implement them on-field and to evaluate their POD.
  • For a set of 3 relevant structures, a metallic plate, a multidirectional CFRP plate, a slat track, an assessment will be delivered on the feasibility of laser Doppler scanning vibrometry, shearography, photorefractive interferometry and multiphysics stimulated thermography.
  • The feasibility parameters (referenced to the state of the art) will be: the minimum size of defects detectable, the measurement time per inspected surface, the cost of a measurement setup, the specificity of detection of defects compared to other typically occurring factors that influence the signal. 
  • The use of multiple heating sources will be allowed by the use of coded signals excitation and pulse-compression procedure.

  • Master degree in one of the following field (or similar): Materials Science, Materials Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Natural Sciences, ...
  • A strong interest for multidisciplinary research is required.
  • Communication skills: ability to work both independently and in a team.
  • Appropriate skills in English speaking and writing are mandatory.

  • The project offers funding for a 3-year program towards a Ph. D. within the Laboratory for Soft Matter and Biophysics.
  • Our university  offers an exciting multi-disciplinary research environment, a broad gamut of training courses for Ph.D. students, competitive salaries or scholarships and full social and medical insurance.