TFM Paints the Perfect Picture

Priscilla Johnson

Content Marketing Lead

When the inspection job calls for mapping extensive composite components, who wouldn’t accept a helping hand? Or in this case, a 3-axis rotating arm…

Composite material evaluation usually consists of assessing large structures like aircraft longerons or wind turbine blades. Considering their critical functions, it’s important to ensure their structural integrity. Non-destructive testing (NDT) is used for detecting defects at both the manufacturing stage and while the assets are in service. Regular inspection enables engineers to determine remaining useful life and proactively plan any maintenance or repair work required.

The M2M Gekko® was the first portable phased array ultrasonic testing (PAUT) unit to offer standard support for 3-axis encoding, making it possible to use paintbrush-like scanners for fast screening of large plates; there is no need to create raster scans. Just like painting a picture, a wheel probe can be used to acquire data along a line.

Today, the Gekko is the only unit that supports a 3-axis encoder for Total Focusing Method (TFM) with the PAUT Brush Scanner. This scanner features both a rotational arm and head, using three encoders to perform 3D ultrasonic mapping with PAUT or TFM probes. It affixes by vacuum (with magnets an option for ferrous surface inspection applications). Why use TFM over PAUT? Like the name indicates, the Total Focusing Method offers a high resolution visual of an entire region of interest versus an image generated with PAUT generally only focused in the focal area of the beam. Depending on your application, either ultrasonic method may be the ideal technique for highly accurate and ergonomic 3D mapping of composite parts.

See the Gekko performing a 3-axis inspection in the video below. The zone is completely covered using this method, and inspectors will appreciate the auto-stitching and positioning making for easier assessment.

Gekko is the field proven TFM solution for composite inspection and so much more. If you need repeatable, actionable, meaningful and preventative data collection results, contact us for a solution that’s Beyond Current.