This intellectual property, protected under United States Patent No. 7,776,606, is the state-of-the-art technology needed for effective application of NDI tools to detect corrosion under paint on military and commercial aircraft and other vehicles, according to CTC. In illustration: as aircraft age, the maintenance required due to corrosion increases. Corrosion can progress causing substrate damage that is visually undetectable. This presents a need for NDI tools and protocols capable of locating hidden corrosion under paint. The tools and protocols support condition based maintenance for the repair of locally affected areas at the onset of corrosion before extensive and costly substrate damage can occur. Local detection and remediation at the onset of corrosion can reduce repair costs, downtime, and environmental impacts associated with the current practice of complete coating removal and reapplication.

“The issuance of this patent exemplifies CTC’s plan to ensure competitiveness in emerging technology fields,” said Edward J. Sheehan, Jr., president and CEO of CTC, an independent, nonprofit, applied scientific research and development professional services organization providing innovative management and technology-based solutions to government and industry. “Starting as a corrosion project for U.S. Army Aviation more than eight years ago and later expanding to applications for the U.S. Air Force, the team developed a process to create test standards containing hidden discrete corrosion defects used to characterize corrosion detection performance of NDI instrumentation, develop NDI analysis protocols, and validate NDI results for corrosion inspections on aircraft. These processes and standards ensure the structural integrity of the aircraft, and therefore ensure our warfighters’ safety.”

CTC started working with nondestructive inspection to detect corrosion under paint in 2002. In 2003, employees in CTC’s Largo, Fla., office, Joe Pecina, P.E., a metallurgical advisory engineer, and Scott Ryan, a technician, along with several co-inventors, started development of the process to create discreet corrosion defects in the laboratory. The patent application was filed in 2007, approved in 2010, and Pecina and Ryan applied for two related, divisional patents to cover additional claims in the application.


Joe Pecina P.E. is a Licensed Professional Engineer in Florida and Illinois, and a metallurgical advisory engineer at CTC. After graduating from the University of Illinois in 1981 with a B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering, he held positions in engineering, quality, and manufacturing, concentrating on product development of engineered products. Pecina is a subject matter expert in metallurgy, materials science, marine corrosion, and design, testing, and analysis of components used in vehicles and complex rotating machinery. Pecina, who has been with CTC since 2001, is an inventor on three U.S. Patents.

Scott Ryan has been a laboratory technician since 1992, participating with scientific staff members in the research, testing, development, and design of new products, processes and systems. Ryan has been with CTC since 2002, performing a variety of tasks to acquire and analyze data and assist the professional engineering staff conducting product assessment. He also programs, operates, and maintains laboratory test equipment and machinery and utilizes his construction background and capabilities in the design and fabrication of environmental chambers, wind tunnels, and seawater corrosion testing apparatus.