Concurrent Technologies Corp. has been awarded a patent for a technique to detect corrosion under paint on military and commercial aircraft and other vehicles, the organization has announced.
The nonprofit research and development group received the patent for “processes to create discrete corrosion defects on substrates and establish corrosion nondestructive inspection (NDI) test standards” used to solve real-world corrosion problems, CTC said in a statement Wednesday (Oct. 6).
The intellectual property, now protected under United States Patent No. 7,776,606, “is the state-of-the-art technology needed for effective application of NDI tools to detect corrosion under paint on military and commercial aircraft and other vehicles,” CTC said.
Detecting Hidden Corrosion
As aircraft and other vehicles age, the maintenance required due to corrosion increases, CTC notes. Some of this corrosion can be visually undetectable, necessitating “NDI tools and protocols capable of locating hidden corrosion under paint.”
In this way, corrosion can be identified before extensive damage occurs, minimizing repair costs, downtime and the need for complete coating removal and reapplication.
Army Aviation Roots
The protocol started as a corrosion project for U.S. Army Aviation in 2002 and later expanded to applications for the U.S. Air Force, said CTC president and CEO Edward J. Sheehan Jr.
In 2003, Joe Pecina, P.E., a metallurgical advisory engineer; technician Scott Ryan, and several other employees in CTC’s Largo, FL, office started developing the process to create discrete corrosion defects in the laboratory, CTC said. The patent application was filed in 2007.
The team “developed a process to create test standards containing hidden discrete corrosion defects used to characterize corrosion detection performance of NDI instrumentation, develop NDI analysis protocols, and validate NDI results for corrosion inspections on aircraft,” Sheehan said.
“These processes and standards ensure the structural integrity of the aircraft, and therefore ensure our warfighters' safety."