Air Coupled Ultrasonic Guided Waves for Non-Contact Cure Monitoring
Navy SBIR FY2008.2

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2008.2
Topic No.: N08-127
Topic Title: Air Coupled Ultrasonic Guided Waves for Non-Contact Cure Monitoring
Proposal No.: N082-127-0789
Firm: Luna Innovations Incorporated
1 Riverside Circle
Suite 400
Roanoke, Virginia 24016
Contact: Michael Pedrick
Phone: (757) 224-5723
Web Site:
Abstract: A diagnostic tool for evaluating relative cure state in adhesives, coatings, and sealant systems would help increase production efficiency by avoiding unnecessary delays between applications while ensuring proper performance based on complete cure of the material system. Luna's approach leverages ongoing developments of air-coupled ultrasonics and nonlinear acoustics to provide a solution with the potential for low-cost, high inspection efficiency, and ease of operation. The approach is based on monitoring guided wave velocity and attenuation whose equilibrium indicates complete cure. Luna's line-based measurement approach provides greater flexibility based on inspection time and necessary spatial resolution compared with more common point-based measurements. The anticipated results of the Phase I effort include the development of a numerical model for optimizing sensitivity, proof-of-concept measurements on pertinent material systems deposited on Al 2024-T3 substrates in the based period and extended to composite substrates in the option. The transition to Phase II will include initial electronic design of a prototype device.
Benefits: The development of this instrument has broad implications particularly in a three-phase approach to technology insertion into the market. The first stage provides an diagnostic tool for confirming a complete cure state. The next phase extends the system to a more robust Quality assurance tool whereby the final performance characteristics of the material system can be evaluated. The final stage and perhaps most commercially beneficial is the extension to a field tool for evaluation throughout the lifetime of the material system. The benefit is that baseline data will have been taken with the same inspection tool at the manufacturing stage, a luxury not often found in diagnostic measurement applications. High performance coatings, adhesives, and sealant span a great number of markets including: defense, medical, construction, automotive, and aerospace. The first commercialization strategy is to supplement OEM suppliers of defense coatings with a diagnostic measurement capability such as PRC-Desoto who has provided a letter of support for this effort.