The EU-project EVITA (Non-Destructive EValuation, Inspection and Testing of Primary Aeronautical Composite Structures Using Phase Contrast X-Ray Imaging) aims at bringing Grating-based Phase Contrast X-ray imaging technology to Non-Destructive Evaluation and Inspection of advanced primary and/or complex aerospace composite structures. Grating-based Phase Contrast X-Ray Imaging is based on the so-called Talbot-Lau interferometer, which is made of the combination of a standard X-ray apparatus with three transmission gratings as documented in the literature. This paper presents a comparison of two traditional non-destructive techniques (NDT): ultrasonic through transmission (immersed and water jet) and ultrasonic phased-array pulse echo, with the developed phase contrast XRay Imaging applied to advanced aerospace carbon fibre reinforced polymer. Typical defects produced during manufacture is examined as part of the testing and validation procedure. The following defects have been identified as being those most likely to be detected more effectively by the Grating-based Phase Contrast X-Ray Imaging process than other state of the art industrial NDT techniques: porosity, foreign objects, cracks, resin rich, cut fibres, and wavy fibres. The introduction of this innovative methodology is expected to provide the aeronautical industry with a reliable and detailed insight of the integrity of thin and thickcomposite structures as well as of complex geometry ones, such as integrated closed boxes and sandwiches.
Applied Composite Materials, vol. 24 (2), pp. 513-524, Apr 2017.