A method for detecting and preventing corrosion in aeronautics

Gipuzkoa, News

CIDETEC Surface Engineering’s U-CROSS project develops a preventive corrosion detection system based on the Acoustic Emission technique.

Corrosion control is one of the greatest challenges for the durability (useful life) of structures and functional materials. The detection of corrosion in its early stages is not a trivial problem and, in an advanced state of corrosion, it can lead to highly costly repairs for companies. Corrosion damage can be critical to the functionality of a structure if undetected and, in a demanding industry such as aerospace, degradation could have catastrophic consequences.

After four years of research, the recently completed European U-CROSS project, under the coordination of CIDETEC Surface Engineering and the direction of Dassault Aviation, has led to promising results in the development of a monitoring system for the diagnosis and prediction (prognosis) of the condition of aircraft against corrosion. Specifically, the project focused on monitoring based on the Acoustic Emission (AE) technique to detect corrosion, in its incipient state, affecting aeronautical structures, allowing the preventive anticipation of critical damage that could threaten their structural safety.

The U-CROSS project has obtained these results thanks to experimental work in the laboratory, complemented by real exposure in an outdoor environment. Advanced analysis to investigate recorded AE data has been essential to implement a monitoring solution capable of identifying the early stages of localised corrosion (pitting and intergranular) suffered by aluminium alloys or corrosion under paint (filiform corrosion). On the other hand, from the experimental work, models have been defined to predict the degradation of the coating and the lifetime of the aluminium alloy affected by corrosion. The results have been validated by means of an AE-based monitoring system, installed on a real panel extracted from the fuselage of a Falcon 7X and exposed to real environmental conditions, obtaining a good localisation of the corrosion.

As part of the Clean Sky 2 programme, U-CROSS has been funded with nearly 1.5 million euros and has also involved the participation of the Communaute d’ Universités et Etablissements Université Bourgogne – Franche – Comte (UBFC), Titania Ensayos Proyectos Industriales S.L., Mistras Group SAS and the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon. The project will contribute to improving aircraft safety through the early detection of corrosion, i.e. with a preventive approach that will allow more economical solutions to be adopted for the sector. In addition to improving the competitiveness of the European aviation industry, this solution is aligned with the objectives of reducing the ecological impact of aviation and promoting its sustainability.


Otras noticias