Carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) composite materials have become a material of choice for many aerospace and other product applications because of their particular properties. For aerospace, these properties include strength-to-weight ratio, durability, and damage tolerance achievable by tailored designs. When CFRP is applied as a primary structural element in aircraft design, the responsible structural design team will require visual inspection and 100% instrumented NDT to verify the consistency and quality of the finished component. The method selected for the instrumented NDT will be based on the CFRP characteristics, manufacturing method, structural configuration, and the application. Ultrasonic testing (UT) has been the most widely applied NDT method at the time of CFRP manufacture because of its sensitivity to the most common manufacturing defects. Other NDT methods may be enlisted depending on the particular design or feature sensitivity requirements. During CFRP service, when damage is suspected, a wide variety of NDT methods and techniques may be applicable that are suitable to the particular configuration, such as UT, bond testers, thermography, shearography, and radiography.
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