Open Access

Non-Destructive Testing of Thermoplastic Carbon Composite Structures


The article is in line with the contemporary interests of companies from the aviation industry. It describes thermoplastic material and inspection techniques used in leading aviation companies. The subject matter of non-destructive testing currently used in aircraft inspections of composite structures is approximated and each of the methods used is briefly described. The characteristics of carbon preimpregnates in thermoplastic matrix are also presented, as well as types of thermoplastic materials and examples of their application in surface ship construction. The advantages, disadvantages and limitations for these materials are listed. The focus was put on the explanation of the ultrasonic method, which is the most commonly used method during the inspection of composite structures at the production and exploitation stage. Describing the ultrasonic method, the focus was put on echo pulse technique and the use of modern Phased Array heads. Incompatibilities most frequently occurring and detected in composite materials with thermosetting and thermoplastic matrix were listed and described. A thermoplastic flat composite panel made of carbon pre-impregnate in a high-temperature matrix (over 300°C), which was the subject of the study, was described. The results of non-destructive testing (ultrasonic method) of thermoplastic panel were presented and conclusions were drawn.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Engineering, Introductions and Overviews, other, Geosciences, Materials Sciences, Physics