LSP Technologies Enhancing Nondestructive Bond Inspection System

Laser Bond Inspection is a nondestructive method for proof-testing localized bond strength in adhesively bonded composite structures.

DUBLIN, OHIO - DECEMBER 05, 2017 - LSP Technologies Inc. (LSPT) has been awarded a U.S. Air Force Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Technology Transition Program to enhance its Laser Bond Inspection (LBI) system used to evaluate bond strength in adhesively bonded composite structures. The program is aimed at developing a fiber optic delivery system that will increase the flexibility and capability of current LBI technology.

The program is a two-year effort, funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory’s ManTech Division, the Air Force SBIR Program Office, and the Office of Naval Research. Successful maturation of a fiber optic laser beam delivery system will enable LSPT’s LBI system to access a greater percentage of an adhesively bonded structure and will facilitate the inspection of partially closed out structures.

“This is an important advancement for LBI technology,” said David Lahrman, VP of Business Development for LSP Technologies, Inc. “The Air Force has long supported LSPT in our efforts to mature LBI to commercial readiness, and this transition builds upon previous projects funded by the Air Force SBIR program. Nondestructive bond inspection technology has been a goal of aerospace manufacturers for many years in anticipation of the industry’s transition to implementing adhesively bonded composite airframes.”

LSPT’s Laser Bond Inspection technology uses a pulsed laser system to generate a controlled stress wave at the surface of a composite structure. The stress wave propagates into the material as a compressive wave that is reflected off the back side free surface and becomes a tensile wave. As the tensile wave passes through the internal bond line, it interrogates the adhesive bond at a selected strength value to “proof-test” the adhesive bond. The process can be tailored to inspect different bonds at different depths and pre-determined strength thresholds by producing detectable dissociations in insufficient or weak bonds while leaving acceptable bonds unaffected.

LSP Technologies is a leading innovator in laser processing services and equipment. It is the only company in the world selling Laser Bond Inspection systems for determining adhesive bond strength in composite structures. The company has been providing Laser Peening production services and equipment for clients in the aviation and power generation industries for over twenty years, and has been awarded more than sixty patents for innovations in Laser Peening, Laser Bond Inspection, and laser equipment.

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