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Technical Paper

A Knowledge Representation Scheme for Nondestructive Testing of Composite Components

This paper presents our efforts to formalize the knowledge domain of nondestructive quality control of automotive composite components with organic (resin) matrices and to develop a prototype knowledge-based system, called NICC for Nondestructive Inspection of Composite Components, to help in the quality assurance of individual components. Geometric and bonding characteristics of parts and assemblies are taken into account, as opposed to the better understood evaluation of test specimens. The reasoning process was divided in two stages: in the first stage all flaws that might be present in the given part are characterized; in the second stage appropriate nondestructive testing procedures are specified to detect each of the possible flaws. The use of nondestructive techniques in the inspection of composites is fairly recent and hence, the knowledge required to develop an expert system is still very scattered and not fully covered in the literature.