Air-coupled ultrasonic testing

SONOAIR R&D - Air-coupled ultrasonic inspection (foam)SONOAIR R&D - Air-coupled ultrasonic inspection with multichannel capabilitySONOAIR R&D - SONOAIR R&D - Air-coupled ultrasonic inspection - Transmission[SONOWARE C-Scan -SONOAIR R&D - Air-coupled ultrasonic inspection (Impact damage)SONOWARE C-Scan - SONOAIR R&D - Air-coupled ultrasonic inspection (honey comb)SONOWARE C-Scan -SONOAIR R&D - Air-coupled ultrasonic inspection (PMMA sheets bonding)
SONOAIR R&D - Air-coupled ultrasonic inspection (foam)SONOAIR R&D - Air-coupled ultrasonic inspection with multichannel capabilitySONOAIR R&D - SONOAIR R&D - Air-coupled ultrasonic inspection - Transmission[SONOWARE C-Scan -SONOAIR R&D - Air-coupled ultrasonic inspection (Impact damage)SONOWARE C-Scan - SONOAIR R&D - Air-coupled ultrasonic inspection (honey comb)SONOWARE C-Scan -SONOAIR R&D - Air-coupled ultrasonic inspection (PMMA sheets bonding)

Advantages

  • Non-contact ultrasonic testing method
  • Perfect for ultra-modern fibre-plastic composites (CFRP and GFRP)
  • Maximum resolution at high sensitivity due to focusing probes

 

Applications

  • Interface detection
  • Detection of inhomogeneities
  • Scan of large surface defects such as delamination

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Air-coupled ultrasonic testing with SONOAIR® R&D

SONOAIR® R&D features a free configuration of the sender characteristics with a pulser voltage of up to 800 V. Through a combination of a pre-amplifier on the receiver (probe integrated or external) and a post-amplifier inside the electronics the system generates an ultra-low noise level of less than 1nV/√Hz.

The receiver dynamic of 120 dB provides an industry leading signal to noise ratio (SNR) even with highly attenuating materials and leads to clear and reproduceable measurements results.

The principle of air-coupled ultrasonic testing

Measuring method

Transmission

Air-coupled ultrasonic testing in through-transmission is the ideal measurement method to detect common defects in modern multilayer composite structures including delaminations, air inclusions, kissing bonds, and impact damages.

By using air as the couplant even very small defects can be located. With a wavelength in air of only 0.85 mm discontinuities from approximately 1 mm size can be detected.

In addition, the SONOAIR technology can be used to inspect highly attenuating materials which are impossible or difficult to test with liquid coupled ultrasonic inspection systems. This applies particularly to foams, multi-layer honeycombs, plastics, ceramics, wood and concrete. Modern fiber-composite structures such as CFRP or GFRP can be inspected without any compromises with respect to minimum defect sizes compared to immersion or squirter ultrasonic testing systems.

Software - SONOWARE Basic / Advanced

The SONOWARE inspection software for air-coupled ultrasonic testing was designed especially for the use in laboratories and offline production environments. SONOWARE Basic is ideal for the fast inspection of test samples. The intuitive user interface enables the user to quickly parametrize the SONOAIR hardware, perform the measurement and evaluate the results.


SONOAIR Advanced
is the perfect software to develop new test and evaluation methods. The complete raw data is available in a binary format. In addition, an extensive tool box of filters and post-processing capabilities is provided to optimize the measurement results.

Sample Applications

SONAOIR R&D provides the flexibility to display measurement results via A-, C- or D-scans. In addition, the raw data is available for post-processing. The below C-scans represent a combined color-coded image consisting of the maximum amplitudes of each individual measurement point (A-scans). The smallest detectable defect size and the level of ultrasound conductivity highly depend on the material characteristics, the expected defect type, the test frequency, the measurement resolution and the scanning speed. The sample scans have been recorded with a resolution of 1 x 1 mm and a scan speed of 100 mm/s.

C-Scan of bonded plastic plates

Test method: Transmission
Type of defect: Air inclusions and incomplete adhesive adhesion
Probe: CF400
Defect size: min. Ø 2mm

C-Scan of a battery

Test method: Transmission
Fault type: Impact damage and delaminated top layer
Probe: CFC230_D25_P65

C-Scan of a honey comb

Test method: Transmission
Types of defects: Impact damage and delaminated top layer
Probe: CFC230_D25_P65

C-Scan of high performance ceramic

Test method: Transmission
Types of defects: Delamination and density fluctuations before and after the sintering process
Probes: CF075 and CF125

Technical data

General data
19‘‘ unit consisting ofPC with Windows operating system and software; 14-bits digitizer, 100 MS/s; Ultrasonic pulser unit; Ultrasonic receiver unit
Operating temperature5 to 40 °C
Network interface1 GBit/s LAN
Protection classIP20
StandardsDIN EN 61010, DIN EN 60204
Pulser
Number of channels1 or 4
Pulse heightAdjustable from 8 to 400 V
Frequency range35 kHz to 3 MHz
Maximum power2 kW (400 V), optional 4 KW (800 V)
TypeSquare wave burst (freely configurable width for every pulse)
Receiver
Number of channels1 or 4
Frequency range35 kHz to 750 kHz
Gain0 to 120 dB, 0.5 dB increment
Noise1 nV/√Hz
SCANNER (Standard)
Scanning area (X x Y x Z)500 x 500 x 160 mm (Other scanners on request)
Positioning accuracy20 µm
Scan increment0,1 mm
Scan orientationTypically horizontal

Publications

Single-Sided Contact-Free Ultrasonic Testing - A New Air-Coupled Inspection Technology for Weld and Bond Testing

Mario KIEL , Ralf STEINHAUSEN, Andreas BODI, and Manuel LUCAS

Published 2017 at APCNDT Conference in Singapore

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Air-Coupled Ultrasonic Inspection of Fiber-Reinforced Plates Using an Optical Microphone

Janez RUS, David KULLA, Jan-Carl GRAGER, Christian U. GROSSE

Published 2019 at DAGA - 5. Jahrestagung für Akustik, 18. - 21. März 2019 (Germany)

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A Modular Approach to Non-Contact Ultrasonic Testing of Composites

Peter HOLSTEIN, Uwe HEUERT, Hans-Joachim MÜNCH, Mario KIEL

Published at ECNDT 2014

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Qualitative comparison of non-destructive methods for inspection of carbon fiberreinforced polymer laminates

Janez RUS, Alex GUSTSCHIN, Hubert MOOSHOFER, Jan-Carl GRAGER, Klaas BENTE, Mate GAAL, Franz PFEIFFER and Christian U. GROSSE

Published 2020, Journal of Composite Materials

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Downloads

SONOAIR® R&D

For Contact-free Ultrasonic Testing

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Training for SONOAIR®

In cooperation with the ultrasonic research institute „Forschungszentrum Ultraschall (FZ-U)“ we offer training courses for air-coupled ultrasonic testing. With theory, simulation and practical demonstrations, the training courses provide a profound introduction to the topic. 

Do you have any questions?

Manuel Lucas

Please contact us! We will be glad to help you.

Manuel Lucas

+49 (0)345 / 133 17-846
manuel.lucas@sonotec.de
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