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Schmidt K.F.,Evisive, Inc. | Little J.R.,Evisive, Inc. | Green W.R.,U.S. Army | Franks L.P.,U.S. Army | Ellingson W.A.,ERC Company
Ceramic Engineering and Science Proceedings | Year: 2016

Operator training and development of performance metrics are simultaneously implemented by a novel program for microwave nondestructive testing (NDT) of composite ceramic armor. A Portable Automated Microwave Scanning System (PAMSS) and accompanying Hand-Held Tool (HHT) were developed for efficient condition assessment of composite ceramic armor, in-situ on vehicles. Operator training for the simpler, HHT will be based on a self-study course available on the tool's operator interface computer. The course includes a library of examination samples, created using the more operator-controllable PAMSS, and validated by digital x-ray NDT. Operators will be able to study examples from the library on their own, and take a performance test using the operator interface computer. Using analysis of variance gauge repeatability and reproducibility techniques, the overall performance and performance of individual operators can be characterized by use of Cohen's kappa coefficient. The microwave interference scanning technique can image the volume of most dielectric parts, including those with complex structure and complex materials. This work is supported by the US Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEQ, the US Army Research Laboratory who provided test panels and Evisive, Inc. internal development. © Copyright 2016 by The American Ceramic Society. All rights reserved.


Schmidt K.,Evisive, Inc. | Little J.,Evisive, Inc.
Studies in Applied Electromagnetics and Mechanics | Year: 2011

A portable microwave interferometry system has been demonstrated to detect material properties in high performance materials including engineered ceramics, organic and ceramic composites and other composite dielectric materials. The technique detects and images internal cracks, internal laminar features such as disbonds and variations in material properties such as density. It requires access to only one surface, and no coupling medium. Other NDE methods and destructive examination are used to verify performance. © 2011 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved.


Stakenborghs R.,Evisive, Inc. | Little J.,Evisive, Inc.
International Conference on Nuclear Engineering, Proceedings, ICONE | Year: 2010

This paper provides a follow up to prior works [1,2,3,4] describing the theory and method associated with an innovative microwave based NDE method for inspection of HDPE thermal and electro fusion pipe joints. The method employs a first of a kind apparatus that is based on the creation of an image using electromagnetic energy in the microwave frequency range. This paper presents the results of a series of field and laboratory trials of the HDPE thermal and electro-fusion inspections and the corresponding mechanical test of the joint. A close correlation between the inspection results and the mechanical test results are shown. The data presented provides definitive evidence of the ability of the inspection method to detect numerous typical defect types in HDPE fusion joints. Copyright © 2010 by ASME.


Stakenborghs R.,Evisive, Inc.
Annual Technical Conference - ANTEC, Conference Proceedings | Year: 2012

This paper describes an innovative apparatus and method that uses electromagnetic energy in the microwave frequency range to volumetrically examine dielectric materials, including high density polyethylene piping fusion joints. This paper describes the theory of use and presents several HDPE inspection case studies. Specifically, this paper describes the mechanics of cold fusion joint detection and in several cases the inspection results are compared to mechanical test results that confirm the accuracy of the examination.


Schmidt K.,Evisive, Inc. | Little J.,Evisive, Inc.
American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Pressure Vessels and Piping Division (Publication) PVP | Year: 2011

Application of engineered ceramic materials in high temperature environments of advanced propulsion systems in high performance aircraft; structural demands in ceramiccomposite armor; application of high density polyethylene in piping, and reinforced rubber in nuclear power service; and fiber reinforced resin overwraps for piping, all present demanding nondestructive testing challenges. A new technology, Evisive Scan™, has been recently developed that allows condition monitoring in these challenging materials. The internationally patented Evisive Scan™ method is based on microwave interferometry. It utilizes microwaves to interrogate dielectric materials, including material with complex internal structure. The microwaves are reflected at areas of changing dielectric constant. The reflected energy and the interrogating beam are combined to form an interference pattern which is measured in the transceiver as a signal voltage. The method requires access to only one surface, does not require contact or a coupling medium. The signal voltage is sampled at many positions in the inspection area. This point cloud is displayed as an Evisive Scan™ image, which presents volumetric detail of the inspected part. This data is rich with information which is processed in near real time for advanced analysis. The technology has been successfully applied to Ceramic Matrix Composites where it is used to measure density and porosity and identify manufacturing defects. The technology has been demonstrated to be applicable to ceramic composite armor made of monolithic ceramic tiles in complex, multilayer, dielectric structures. The technology is being used to detect manufacturing defects in composite resin structures. The technology has been successfully demonstrated on fiber reinforced resin pipe overwraps, and the technology has been used for condition monitoring of reinforced rubber flexible couplings in nuclear power plants. The nuclear power plant application is performed under a fully qualified, US nuclear quality assurance 10CFR50 App B and NQA-1 compliant program. Examples of these applications are presented, with explanation of the operating principles of the technology and illustrations of the individual applications. Work included in the report is supported by the US Air Force Research Laboratory, US Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), US Army Research Laboratory and US Air Force Research Laboratory. Evisive would like to acknowledge project participation and support by Argonne National Laboratory, and Saudi Aramco. Copyright © 2011 by ASME.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 722.02K | Year: 2011

The objective of this proposal is to develop a robust hand-held, tool for inspection of non-metallic armor while the armor is still mounted on ground vehicles. Impacts of sufficient energy, including those which are routine, like impact with road hazards, and handling incidents can damage the armor without visible condition indicators. The extent of repairable damage from ballistic projectiles can also be difficult to determine by visual inspection. In-situ inspection permits condition assessment without returning the vehicle to a depot, and permits assessment of individual armor applique panels without committing the vehicle to depot maintenance. This reduces maintenance cost and improves overall availability. The system will employ a patented microwave scanning device which has been demonstrated to be effective in examining non-metallic armor. The system is in use in the laboratory and field environment, and a Prototype Wireless Hand Held System was created and delivered under Phase I of this SBIR Topic. TARDEC has a laboratory instrument and is testing the prototype system delivered in Phase I. It is the design starting point for this project, which will incorporate lessons learned in Phase I, and deliver 6 Prototype units for field testing. The field experience with the second generation prototype units will be incorporated in a rugged, robust design, which will include a manufacturing specification suitable for procurement. The patented scanning process utilizes microwaves as an interrogating beam to image the volume of a dielectric material. The microwaves are reflected at areas of changing dielectric constant and combine with the emitted signal to form an interference pattern. This reflection returns voltage differences which are measured by the receiver and displayed to indicate the presence of a potential defect, damage or internal structure of interest. The system will enable the user to easily and with fidelity determine if there is damage to the panel while the panel is still attached to the vehicle. The system will also store the data and can export the data in a conveniently accessible format. The proposed technology has been identified by the Stryker Program as an opportunity to reduce operating costs. The letter of support from the Stryker Program office is included in this proposal. It states, in part,"The approach being developed under this project could result in a significant savings in time and cost as well as insure that Stryker armor protection and crew survivability are maintained throughout the vehicle"s lifecycle."In support of Phase II, PMO Stryker BCT will provide suspect armor panels as well as access to Strykers to demonstrate the effectiveness of the scanners. As indicated, this technology has an excellent potential for application to the Strykers as well as other combat vehicles with ceramic armor panels. The project has advanced through Phase I with active support by Associate Director for Survivability, Tank, Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) and TARDEC staff, who indicate interest in the resulting technology. It is intended that the portable nondestructive health monitoring tool will be deployed with current forces and included as a tool for future weapons programs. The program will be self funding after Phase II.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 740.82K | Year: 2012

ABSTRACT: The objective of this project is to develop nondestructive evaluation technology to locate and characterize defects and damage in ceramic matrix composite material with sufficient quantification to be usable in material performance models. The Evisive microwave interferometry technique has been successfully applied to nondestructive examination and determination of density and porosity in S-200 ceramic matrix composite (CMC) material. In Phase I of this project, delaminations and macro-pores in an S-200 part were detected, sized and located in depth using the Evisive microwave technique and validated with micro-focus x-ray computed tomography. 20 simultaneous, discrete depth images, and 3D data file output were demonstrated. In Phase II this technology will be used to quantify characteristics of known defects, which will be destructively analyzed and used to validate models for prediction of material performance and live prediction. Inspection speed, data output and quantitative validation will be suitable for use in material property prediction for parts. Evisive scan microwave interferometry requires no contact and no coupling media, and supports real time evaluation. The project will leverage these characteristics to provide practical testing strategies for manufacturing and in-service environments. The project is anticipated to extend methodology applicable to manufacturing of S-200 material to advanced materials. BENEFIT: CMC materials offer higher temperature capability, reduced weight, and improved durability compared to conventional materials. They are potential suitable for a variety of high temperature structural applications in turbine engines and elsewhere. In order to apply the material, it is necessary to develop models which are able to predict material performance and degradation associated with deviations in design properties; and to predict material longevity. Evisive Scan microwave interferometry has been demonstrated to be effective in nondestructive testing of S-200 and similar CMC material. Development of quantitative NDE measurements which are sufficiently precise and repeatable to support modeling of the material properties will enable prediction of useful life, and enable use of the material in many novel and highly effective applications. Replicating these NDE methods in the in-service environment will enable condition monitoring and effective application of the material. Effective quantification of manufacturing irregularities and in-service degradation will facilitate migration of the material into service applications, as well as supporting advancement of the CMC material itself. Efficient NDE process and manufacturing quality control will reduce manufacturing cost and further enable migration of the CMC materials into service applications. This proposal includes letters from Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK), COI Ceramics, Inc. (COIC) and Pratt & Whitney, expressing support for further development and application of the Evisive microwave NDE technology for quantitative NDE of CMCs. Letters expressing support for performance of the project from COIC, Penn State Center for Innovative Sintered Products and Materials Research & Design, Inc. (MR & D) are also included. Copies of the ATK and Pratt & Whitney letters of under SBIR Topic AF07-105 are included, as these indicate intended incorporation into their manufacturing processes and potentially utilize the technique as a quality assurance tool in acceptance of manufactured CMC parts. As identified in the letters of support, it is anticipated that the technology will be beneficially expanded to support in-service condition monitoring, and operating cycle improvements.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.72K | Year: 2011

ABSTRACT: The objective of this project is to develop nondestructive evaluation technology to locate and characterize defects and damage in ceramic matrix composite material with sufficient quantification to be usable in material performance models. The Evisive microwave interferometry technique has been successfully applied to nondestructive examination and determination of density and porosity in S-200 ceramic matrix composite (CMC) material. This technology will be used to quantify characteristics of known defects, which will be destructively analyzed and used to validate models for prediction of material performance and live prediction. Evisive scan microwave interferometry requires no contact and no coupling media, and supports real time evaluation. The project will leverage these characteristics to provide practical testing strategies for manufacturing and in-service environments. The project is anticipated to extend methodology applicable to manufacturing of S-200 material to advanced materials. BENEFIT: CMC materials offer higher temperature capability, reduced weight, and improved durability compared to conventional materials. They are potential suitable for a variety of high temperature structural applications in turbine engines and elsewhere. In order to apply the material, it is necessary to develop models which are able to predict material performance and degradation associated with deviations in design properties; and to predict material longevity. Evisive Scan microwave interferometry has been demonstrated to be effective in nondestructive testing of S-200 and similar CMC material. Development of quantitative NDE measurements which are sufficiently precise and repeatable to support modeling of the material properties will enable prediction of useful life, and enable use of the material in many novel and highly effective applications. Replicating these NDE methods in the in-service environment will enable condition monitoring and effective application of the material. Effective quantification of manufacturing irregularities and in-service degradation will facilitate migration of the material into service applications, as well as supporting advancement of the CMC material itself. Efficient NDE process and manufacturing quality control will reduce manufacturing cost and further enable migration of the CMC materials into service applications. This proposal includes letters of support from ATK COIC Ceramics, Inc. (ATK) and Materials Research & Design, Inc. (MR & D) who are supporting the project. Copies of the ATK and Pratt & Whitney letters of support for further development and application of the Evisive microwave NDE under SBIR Topic AF07-105 are included, as these indicate intended incorporation into their manufacturing processes and potentially utilize the technique as a quality assurance tool in acceptance of manufactured CMC parts. As identified in the letters of support, it is anticipated that the technology will be beneficially expanded to support in-service condition monitoring, and operating cycle improvements.


Enhanced measurement of thickness in bulk dielectric materials is disclosed. Microwave radiation is partially reflected at interfaces where the dielectric constant changes (e.g., the back wall of a part). The reflected microwaves are combined with a portion of the outgoing beam at each of at least two separate detectors. A pair of sinusoidal or quasi-sinusoidal waves results. Thickness or depth measurement is enhanced by exploiting the phase and amplitude relationships between multiple sinusoidal or quasi-sinusoidal standing waves at detectors sharing a common microwave source. These relationships are used to determine an unambiguous relationship between the signal and the thickness or depth.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 79.37K | Year: 2013

This project will identify a toolset which can be used by forward deployed Marines to assess structural damage to combat vehicles hulls following IED events. Improving the quality of Battle Damage Assessment in the field will reduce safety risk from vehicles returned to service without inspection, improve vehicle availability for vehicles unnecessarily sent to higher echelon for repair, as well as reducing cost for unnecessary returns or improperly scrapped equipment. In the Phase I project, Evisive will identify combinations of COTS and novel equipment which can be organized in a Toolset suitable for conduct of a Battle Damage Assessment and Repair (BDAR) inspection in a field environment. Evisive will work with the Marine Corps to identify target vehicles and armor systems, and will evaluate NDE technologies based on failure characteristics mutually established with the Marine Corps. Evisive will develop a specification, conceptual design, and plan to develop and test a toolset for post-IED hull inspection in the field. In addition to effective detection of the failure characteristics in individual materials, the tools must have ruggedness appropriate to forward deployment field use; user training requirements compatible with vehicle crew skills; and, applicability in adverse conditions including coatings and debris.

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