International Aerospace Material Standards for Non-destructive Testing

March 17, 2015

An exerpt from 

Managing a Successful Transition from Film to Digital Radiography: Part One of Two

Recently, industry acceptance and consolidation of requirements has made it a bit easier to navigate standards in the aerospace industry. Many OEMs are known to have their own inspection standards, including Boeing, Airbus, Rolls Royce, Pratt & Whitney, GE Aerospace, and Honeywell. Each OEM has different expectations and requirements, all individually important to understand, but let's talk for a moment about the common material standards that affect certain aspects of NDT for aerospace manufacturing. 

Over the past several years the United States Air Force sponsored the Metals Affordability Initiative (MAI) team which has attempted to facilitate the expanded use of digital X-ray technology. They strive to combine multiple industry requirements into a single requirements document, for both Defect Recognition (DR) and Computed Tomography (CT) modalities. Progress has been made to help the industry accept this technology with more consistancy across different companies. The first related program, MAI PCC-1, helped the industry focus on the acceptance of digital radiography in aerospace. The next one, MAI-HOW4, was created to help facilitate faster and affordable CT solutions for measuring wall-thickness in turbine blades. The current project, MAI-PCC2, is for evaluating and testing the potential of Assisted Defect Recognition (ADR) for aerospace parts. These programs push the evolution of digital radiography and industry acceptance.

Several international aerospace material standards were created by ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) for this technology. They have been readily adopted and are frequently referred (ex. ASTM E2736, E2699, E2597, E2698 and E2737). Together they address topics ranging from the long term stability of digital detector arrays to guidelines on how to best implement this technology.

Digital Imaging and Communications for Non-Destructive Evaluation (DICONDE) has become the industry standard for information and image formatting for digital images. This is the standard for imaging data format and commonly employed communication protocol using TCP/IP for the NDT industry. Based on the medical standard DICOM, it allows users to acquire, store, archive, transmit and receive image their digital X-ray image data (along with other modalities) in a universally compatible format.

Managing a Successful Transition from Film to Digital Radiography: Part One of Two

Adhering to standards is a big part of moving to digital X-ray inspection, and there are many other factors to consider. Want to read the full guide? Download your free PDF guide to learn how to transition your non-destructive testing process from film to digital X-ray.

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