Nondestructive Evaluation

Research to Pinpoint Materials Characteristics

UDRI’s Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) researchers develop, enhance, and test advanced nondestructive methods for characterizing aerospace material properties and component integrity. These characterized features can be delaminations, cracks, thermal or electrical properties, or grain size/orientation. The materials examined can be alloys, polymer, or ceramic composites. Our characterization methods can be experimental (requiring data acquisition on actual specimens), or analytic (requiring modelling and simulations to understand the physical phenomenon studied).


  • Damage precursor detection and monitoring by nonlinear acoustic techniques
  • Development and implementation of computer-controlled, high-speed data-acquisition systems
  • Hidden-corrosion detection and material loss measurements using ultrasonic and eddy-current methods
  • Implementation and application of digital signal-processing techniques for improving signal-to-noise ratios and signal resolution
  • Implementation and application of image-processing and image-enhancement techniques for improving resolution and anomaly identification
  • Material properties measurements using atomic force microscopy, ultrasonic force microscopy, and acoustic microscopy techniques
  • Measurement and imaging of material density and porosity by x-ray computed tomography techniques
  • NDE for integrated vehicle health monitoring
  • NDE of thermal barrier systems
  • Program and project management
  • Use of ultrasonic and eddy-current techniques for nondestructive detection of cracks and anomalies in materials and components
  • X-ray diffraction measurements of localized surface residual stress and stress versus depth measurements on as-machined, shot-peened, laser-shock-peened, fretting-fatigued and quenched surfaces

UDRI also evaluates NDE methods using accepted NDE reliability assessment protocols such as MIL-HDBK 1823A for experiment design, data acquisition, and probability of detection (POD) analysis. Using these methods, UDRI evaluates and assesses a variety of technologies, as well as x-ray techniques (film-based, computed radiography, and x-ray computed tomography), for various applications such as hidden corrosion detection, crack detection, and in-process and end-process manufacturing defects and conditions such as delaminations and porosity in composites.

We can integrate NDE methods with thermo-mechanical tests to provide advanced, in-situ materials characterization under different load and environmental conditions. In addition, we can use microscopy and associated specimen preparation procedures to fully characterize material condition, damage state, and failure modes, after mechanical testing. We can integrate NDE methods into advanced, automated, and customized inspection systems for use in the factory, depot, or field by employing our systems and robotics capabilities.

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University of Dayton Research Institute

300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 7759