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John O | August 2017

Thermal flaw detector being used in manufacture of Russian composite aircraft

a thermal flaw detector developed at tomsk polytechnic university (tpu) in russia is being used in the design and manufacture of new russian aircraft fabricated by the siberian aeronautical research institute completely from composite materials, according to an announcement from the university.


russia’s first composite tvs-2dts aircraft at maks-2017.
(prof. vladimir vavilov/tomsk polytechnic university)


the thermal flaw detector can find damage in aircraft structures both during manufacture and operation and includes an advanced set of “data processing algorithms including thermal tomography and defectometry.”


the flaw detector was recently exhibited at the 13th international aviation and space salon maks 2017.


the tvs-2dts aircraft is designed to replace the an-2 and is made almost entirely of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (cfrp). structural testing in russia had been primarily for metal products but this new detector works with composites as well. it is based on ndt infrared thermography, which is commonly used by boeing, airbus, and bombardier. 


according to valdimir vavilov, the head of the tpu thermal testing methods lab, “conventional testing methods are appropriate for metals, but they are either not suitable for composites at all, for example x-rays, or suitable only for certain modifications.


“therefore, the manufacturers faced a problem related to the testing methods which should be put in the technological plan. the ultrasonic method will be used in any case, but apart from it specialists took a decision to use thermal testing method developed at tpu.”

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