Title: Non-destructive testing of adhesively-bonded joints

Authors: R.D. Adams, B.W. Drinkwater

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1TR, UK. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1TR, UK

Abstract: Adhesively-bonded joints are widely used in engineering. Recent years have seen their use increase in structural and safety critical applications. This increase has been particularly pronounced in the aerospace and automotive industries. The successful use of adhesives in such applications is dependent on a combination of process control and non-destructive testing. During the production phase, and also in service with critical structures, non-destructive tests are used to assess the quality and fitness for purpose of products. Non-destructive testing does not measure strength directly, but measures a physical parameter, such as stiffness, which can be correlated to strength. This paper describes the typical defects which can occur in adhesive joints and discusses their causes and relative significance. The performance of current physical non-destructive tests is described, and future trends outlined. Particular emphasis is given to ultrasonic and sonic methods as they are the most common methods of non-destructive testing of adhesive joints.

Keywords: adhesives; adhesive joints; bonding systems; joining; nondestructive testing; NDT; ultrasonics.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMPT.1999.036279

International Journal of Materials and Product Technology, 1999 Vol.14 No.5/6, pp.385 - 398

Published online: 01 Nov 2010 *

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