AFRL Develops X-Ray Tech to Inspect Composite Parts in Production; Hilmar Koerner Quoted

1 min read
Air Force Research
Air Force Research Laboratory

Air Force Research Laboratory worked with Cornell University to create a new X-ray technology that can inspect composite components during the manufacturing process.

Micro-beam scanning and phase contrast imaging allow the technology to generate X-ray scattering images depicting the component's structure during and after manufacturing, AFRL said Thursday. Operators may use this tool to visualize errors that need to be fixed in a component's structure.

"If you could see the defect, you could pull the part out of production before it actually gets in a system and causes the system to fail, or (you can) adjust the processing parameters to correct for it," said Hilmar Koerner, who leads AFRL's research team for polymer matrix composites, materials and processes.

The U.S. Air Force expects the technology to reduce costs in certifying composite parts for satellites and unmanned aircraft systems.

AFRL used $7 million to establish two X-ray beamlines at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source. The beamlines support the military's research pursuits in material science.

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