Detection of Surface Corrosion by Ultrasonic Backscattering
Retaureau, Ghislain J.
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Corrosion often occurs in the inner aluminum lining of the HB-53 helicopter external fuel tank, resulting in fuel leaks. This project centers on developing an in-situ ultrasonic inspection technique to detect corroded areas inside the fuel tank. Due to the complexity of the composite structure of the tank, the ultrasonic inspection is carried out from inside the tank using a monostatic backscattering technique. The backscattered field contains information related to the insonified surface properties (surface roughness scales). Numerical predictions are implemented with a simplified model of backscattered intensity (Ogilvy, 1991). Experimental results are obtained on artificially corroded plates, and on the actual fuel tank of the HB-53 helicopter. Signal processing techniques (Envelope Correlation and Inverse Technique) are used to detect corroded surfaces with data obtained with a focused 10 MHz pulsed transducer.