Industry Headlines / NDT

West Penn Accelerates Test-Process Development in Wake of FAA Approval of Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing

NEW KENSINGTON, PA--West Penn Testing Group, a provider of nondestructive testing and material testing services, reports completion of FAA approvals for phased array ultrasonic testing (PAUT).

According to Albert Fletcher, director of sales of West Penn Testing, "The titanium-billet-phased-array group, made up of jet-engine OEMs, titanium-billet manufacturers and aerospace forgers, has passed a crucial milestone with the approval last month of PAUT. After a three-year effort, the aerospace industry now has an alternative to multi-zone ultrasonic testing."

Fletcher says that as a result of the FAA approval, West Penn has sped up its program to develop test protocols that meet the requirements of individual OEM customers.

"We have the trained people in place and the schedule to install the additional equipment well underway. Now, as we begin to receive the detailed testing requirements from various jet-engine OEMs, we can adapt our process to satisfy the demands of specific customers."

West Penn reports that a number of tasks must be completed before high volumes of titanium billets can be run through the PAUT process. These tasks include certification of the process for each jet-engine OEM and its suppliers, further equipment-manufacturer evaluations and selection, and final approvals for testing procedures related to data capture, manipulation, analysis and reporting.

"It is possible these issues can be resolved during the first half of 2012," says Fletcher. "In any event, by that time West Penn will be in a position to conduct a high rate of titanium billet inspections."

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