Bonding offers considerable opportunity to reduce manufacturing cost and improve structural performance, but the bonding of many structures (including aerospace components) continues to meet with concerns from certification agencies because of past experiences with bondline failures.

Non-destructive evaluation (NDE) plays a key role in the evaluation of bonded joints. However, NDE methods cannot directly measure the key parameter of interest – adhesive strength.

Adhesively bonded joints and specialty coatings will benefit from this new laser bond inspection technique, which uses a high peak power short pulse laser to perform a localized test of bond strength.

This White Paper describes how extensive experimental development has resulted in the development of a laser bond inspection test method for assessing bond strength. Sensitivity to bond quality variations such as surface preparation, adhesive mixing and contamination has been demonstrated in repeatable tests.

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