Corrosion Under Paint

Topic #: OSD2001-M05
Sponsor:AF
Status:Phase II Completed.
TRL: 5

TRI/Austin, Inc. has developed a near-field RF system that can locate surface corrosion under paint. The system monitors the reflection of near-field RF energy on the skin. It is expected that the smallest detectable pit depth is 6 mils or 150 microns. It is able to detect corrosion in coatings with a thickness of up to 2 mm. It can see through most coatings with the exception of radar absorbing materials. The system is equipped with a patent pending differential probe setup that can correct for part edges and lift off variation. Pits next to lap seams are visible because the seams are subtracted out. The exception is round geometries such as rivets. Research is planned to determine the minimum detectable pit depth around rivets. The initial configuration has been tested on Boeing’s MAUS system and utilizes its software to provide a profile of the part being scanned.