Munich / Turin - The increasing use of composite materials in aircraft construction calls for new test methods. TÜV SÜD and T.AU.R.U.S have developed a new system for small and medium-scale composite components that offers premium safety and a high level of cost-effectiveness. In a premiere, the method is now being applied to the testing also of aircraft components on behalf of Boeing. "The use of composite materials will rise drastically in the future", says Dr Boris Gehring, CEO of the Industry Service Division at TÜV SÜD. Initially used mainly for large structures with relatively simple geometries, composite materials have now become more and more common, including for smaller components with complex geometries. This consequently gives rise to new requirements for the test methods used to control the quality of safety-critical components.
"Non-destructive testing of composite materials mostly relies on ultrasonic methods", explains Valter Capitani from TÜV SÜD Bytest, a subsidiary of the international TÜV SÜD Group that specialises in material testing.
However, the existing methods have been developed for simple geometries and are relatively time- and cost-intensive. Given this, the team of TÜV SÜD Bytest has developed the Testing AUtomated Robotized Ultrasonic System (T.AU.R.U.S.), which offers efficient and cost-effective testing of small- to medium-sized components. Usually the production rate of such components was impaired by the time and costs for Non Destructive Inspection (NDI). "Our system comprises an intelligent combination of standard hardware and software components for ultrasonic equipment, mechanical components and a special software that enables a high number of test pieces to be tested at a consistently high level of test quality", explains the expert. "The system is also very flexible and can be adjusted to consider various customer specifications regarding measurement accuracy and fault tolerance."
The T.AU.R.U.S system developed by TÜV SÜD's materials experts offers clients in the aircraft industry significant time and cost benefits, and thus important competitive edge in international operations. Following completion of the pilot phase, the system has been successfully used in various tests of aerospace components”, Valter Capitani says. “The Boeing (B787) program is one of various aerospace programs, where Bytest is involved with T.AU.R.U.S.”