Application of Ultrasonic Pod Models
Thompson, R. Bruce
The ability to quantify the reliability of nondestructive evaluation (NDE) inspection techniques is required to integrate inspectability into the component design process. Inspectability is typically evaluated on the basis of the design engineer’s experience and knowledge of NDE. While this approach can yield adequate designs with regard to inspection reliability, the potential for uninspectability remains. There is also the possibility that the designer’s knowledge of the reliability of NDE techniques may be limited to “standard” approaches which may be be inadequate for new component geometries or materials. This could lead the design engineer to imagine that a given component is inadequately inspectable and to redesign the part when the correct solution is either to modify the inspection protocol or to select a different technique. Alternatively, models which predict inspection reliability could be used to weigh the trade-offs and risks associated with selection among candidate NDE techniques to be applied to inspection of a given component design and to identify NDE system configurations for optimal reliability. This approach is, in fact, a key feature of the Unified Life Cycle Engineering concept currently being developed by the Air Force[l].