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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/F023316/1
Title Combined remote thermography and non-contact ultrasonic inspection techniques using pulsed laser excitation
Status Completed
Energy Categories Nuclear Fission and Fusion(Nuclear Fission, Nuclear supporting technologies) 25%;
Not Energy Related 50%;
Other Power and Storage Technologies(Electric power conversion) 25%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Physics) 50%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 50%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr SM Dixon
No email address given
University of Warwick
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 May 2008
End Date 30 June 2010
Duration 26 months
Total Grant Value £202,548
Industrial Sectors Aerospace; Defence and Marine; Energy
Region West Midlands
Programme Materials, Mechanical and Medical Eng
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr SM Dixon , Physics, University of Warwick (99.999%)
  Other Investigator Professor D Hutchins , School of Engineering, University of Warwick (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , RWE npower plc (0.000%)
Project Contact , Nexia Solutions (0.000%)
Project Contact , Rolls-Royce PLC (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract In May 2005, the investigators of this new proposal started a one-year feasibility study (EP/C517695/1 & EP/C517709/1) of a novel NDE technique that showed cracks in metal components can be detected by thermography using cw and pulse laser beam heating. The study was a targeted research project funded by EPSRC and three RCNDE industrial partners (Rolls-Royce, BNFL & RWE Npower) through the UK Research Centre in Non Destructive Evaluation (RCNDE). A short feasibility study was requested by RCNDE at the outset because the proposed techniques were untried and judged to have significant technical risk, but there was agreement from the RCNDE Board that if the results obtained in the feasibility study were encouraging, an application would follow for a full research programme which is the current research proposal. The RCNDE Board have agreed that a more extensive investigation should proceed as a targeted research project supported by the same industrial partners, listed above. The EPSRC Review of the Final Report on the feasibility study ranked the outcome as "tending to outstanding".The new method of laser beam heating for thermography has all the advantages of conventional flash lamp thermography NDE: it is a non-contact technique; it provides a very clear and simple to interpret defect indication; large areas can be inspected rapidly (using a scanned pulse laser beam) and it requires little sample surface preparation. In addition, where a pulsed laser is used,ultrasonic waves are generated simultaneously and can be monitored to confirm the presence of a crack and to further characterise it. Currently, most complex components, eg gas turbine blades, are inspected for cracks by the fluorescent dye penetrant method which relies on careful and time-consuming component cleaning and surface preparation and is prone to false-calls caused by surface scratches producing indications of cracks. Our new techniques provide an attractive alternative that has the potential of being quicker, more reliable and of providing more quantitative information about a detected defect. In addition, because laser beams can be delivered along optical fibres and very small infrared cameras are now available, the techniques offer a means of inspecting parts where access is severely restricted / eg inside tubes.Whilst the one year feasibility study has shown the new NDE techniques to have the exciting advantages summarised above, they are not ready for implementation in industry because their defect detection sensitivities have not been determined and their reliability in the inspection of real components has not been tested. The tasks of this follow on project are to complete the required investigations that are necessary to bring a new NDE technique to the point at which it can be introduced into industry

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Added to Database 08/01/08