Improved Life Prediction and Material Characterization of Aerospace Components and Legacy Systems 2003-01-2982
A new technology, Photon Induced Positron Annihilation (PIPA), is currently being used to assess fatigue, creep, and embrittlement damage in aircraft components composed of metal alloys and composites from initial manufacturing through failure. This technology provides a new approach to assessing current damage and predicting useful remaining life in aerospace components and structures based on measuring changes in the defect density and chemical changes induced in the material.
The PIPA technique is a new technology that has applications both in the early development phases of new aircraft components and engines, and in the assessment of problems in aging and legacy aircraft, at any point in operational life. Because measurements can be performed at any time in the life of the component and accurate assessments of remaining life can be predicted based on relatively simple calibration processes, this technology provides a method to improve new designs, increase the life of existing aircraft, and optimize surveillance and maintenance requirements.