X-Ray Backscatter Imaging f or Aerospace Applications

Scatter x-ray imaging (SXI) is a real time, digital, x-ray backscatter imaging technique that allows radiographs to be taken from one side of an object. This x-ray backscatter imaging technique offers many advantages over conventional transmission radiography that include single-sided access and extremely low radiation fields compared to conventional open source industrial radiography. These features enable the use of much smaller exclusion zones for non-occupational personnel which traditionally limited the use of x-ray based imaging techniques in active production environments. Examples of some applications include the detection of corrosion, foreign object debris, water intrusion, cracking, impact damage and leak detection in a variety of material such as aluminum, composites, honeycomb structures, and titanium. This paper summarizes testing results from some of these applications and demonstrates the capabilities of x-ray backscatter imaging in offering a viable solution to some non-destructive testing application in the aerospace industry. The paper will also discuss practical limitations of applying this technique in a field environment, and lessons learned from on aircraft testing. Scatter x-ray imaging can be used in a variety of applications where the penetrating power of x-rays is a requirement, while there is only access to one side of the object.

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