Non-destructive Testing (NDT)
A portable testing system capable of rapidly characterizing and quantifying composite laminate structures without destroying the material.
SRL Level 5
Scientific Readiness Level
Technology development planned
IRL Level 4
IP Readiness Level
Freedom to Operate
MRL Level 7
Market Readiness Level
Paths to Market Identified
PRL Level 4
Product Readiness Level
Essential function demonstrated (MVP)
A portable testing system capable of rapidly characterizing and quantifying composite laminate structures for defects, damage, voids, embedded objects, bondline properties, ply stacking sequence, orientation, and microstructure without destroying the material. This technology is already certified for use by the FAA (a level 3 technician has the authority to utilize it).
As composite materials become more common in structural applications, the need for robust and flexible NDT techniques will continue to grow. The proposed invention utilizes established ultrasound techniques combined with advanced algorithms that can be applied to a variety of inspection applications, making the technology extremely versatile.
The global NDT market was estimated at $15.06 billion in 2016, and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.24% and reach $24.23 billion by 2022. The major industries that form this market include oil and gas, aerospace, inspection service providers, and NDT testing facilities.
The NDT services market, in particular, was valued at $4.77 billion in 2015, and itis expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.52% through 2022, reaching $8.55 billion. More specifically, the global composites testing market was valued at $119 billion in 2017, and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.2% through 2022, reaching $1.82 billion by the end of that period.
The increasing use of composites in aircraft, the development of new composite applications, advancements in materials, and increasing demand for fuel efficiency, quality, and safety are all considered major driving factors.
Existing systems require parts to be fully immersed in water during testing and therefore do not provide portable or scalable solutions to large components. Computer tomography gives comparable data, except it requires lead-lined rooms and the largest sample is roughly a few inches squared (plus radiation damages the part). For damage detection, acoustic changes (“the penny test”) are the existing standard. In some cases, flash thermography is used, but it can only identify catastrophic damage far exceeding the minimal safety requirements.
This is a way to:
1. achieve the highest ultrasonic resolution without the need for immersion,
2. avoid product manufacturing errors with in-line QC,
3. detect part damage rapidly to reduce operational downtime,
4. and provide portability and robotic enhancements for expansion of use
Competing technologies cannot achieve resolution at 0.1 MHz - 25MHz with portability.
Composite manufacturing and quality control
Portable testing device for military, aerospace, oil&gas, etc.
Can be fitted to a robotic arm for automated, rapid scanning applications
Stage of Development
Demonstrated effectiveness in generating high-quality data for identifying product failures. Currently, optimizing robotic operations.
Businesses can commercialize the technology by licensing U.S. Patent US20150377839A1 from Baylor
License available as a Blueprints No-hassle Limited Exclusive License from Baylor
Licensees may have the opportunity to pursue collaborative research with the inventors
Testing data may be available to companies evaluating the technology
Blueprints guides businesses through licensing and follow-on research; services provided at no cost
Received multi-year sponsored research funding.
Doctoral students on project are interested in pursuing a role with the licensee or start-up.
Method and system for non-destructive testing of curved composites