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Thickness Measurement of Aerospace Composites


In the aerospace industry, many structural components such as wing panels and radomes are made with fiberglass and advanced composites that need accurate thickness control. Composites are often stronger than conventional materials and weigh less. Advanced composites are often made by combining graphite or carbon fibers with epoxy, polyamide, or polyimide resins.

Instant, nondestructive thickness measurements can be made on parts such as wings, fuselage, ducts, panels, and fan blades. Ultrasonic thickness gaging can be done during fabrication or after installation to ensure correct wall thickness.

NOTE: The inherent nature of composite materials can produce varying degrees of anisotropy and therefore sound velocity variation. Care should be taken when evaluating any specific composite application that the sound velocity is sufficiently uniform to permit the required measurement accuracy.

Equipment: Both ultrasonic thickness gages and the Magna-Mike Hall Effect thickness gage can be used for composite thickness measurement.

In general, thickness of most composite materials for aerospace applications in the range of 0.050 in. to 0.750 in. (1.25 to 20 mm) can be measured with the hand-held Model 38DL PLUS or Model 45MG with Single Element Software gages and a selected transducer, commonly an M106 2.25 MHz contact transducer. Certain composites that are very scattering or that are thicker than approximately 0.750 in. (20 mm) may require gages with the HP (high penetration) software option and a lower frequency transducer. In especially challenging cases, waveform display monitoring is recommended to permit on-site operator adjustment of setup parameters.To measure the wall thickness on composite products thinner than 0.125 in. (3 mm), delay line transducers such as the M202 may also be recommended.

If there is access to both sides of the test piece for a probe and a target ball, as in a manufacturing environment, the Magna-Mike 8600 Hall Effect thickness gage can also be used. The Magna-Mike offers the advantage of couplant-free measurements that are independent of sound velocity variations, and with an appropriate probe and targets it can measure up to a maximum thickness of 1.00 in. (25.4 mm).

Olympus IMS
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O 45 MG é um medidor de espessura por ultrassom portátil com vários recursos para medição e várias opções de software. Este instrumento exclusivo é compatível com toda a linha de transdutores de elemento simples e duplo, fazendo dele um inovador instrumento tudo em um para quase todas as aplicações de medição de espessura.
O 38DL PLUS é um medidor de espessura por ultrassom avançado. Ele utiliza um transdutor de elemento duplo à inspeção de corrosão interna e inclui THRU-COAT e Echo-to-echo. Os transdutores de elemento simples são utilizados à medição precisa de espessuras de materiais finos, espessos ou multicamadas.
O Magna-Mike é um medidor de espessura portátil que usa uma sonda magnética para realizar medições precisas em materiais finos não ferrosos, como garrafas de plástico.
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