Quality Magazine

FAA Approval Will Move New Test Closer to Industry Acceptance

April 27, 2011

NEW KENSINGTON, PA-West Penn Testing Group, a provider of material testing services, is involved with a six-member group working to establish the equivalency of Phased-Array Ultrasonic Testing (PAUT) to the prevailing AMS-2628 standard. According to Albert Fletcher, general manager, West Penn Testing, "With FAA acceptance of phased-array inspections, our group's two-year effort will pass an important milestone. The 16-year-old AMS-2628 standard, which up till now has been the only one available with FAA approval, will soon be joined by an alternative testing technology accepted for inspecting rotor-grade titanium billets. PAUT has demonstrated that it can deliver equivalent levels of accuracy and reliability. It also offers the added benefit of significantly reducing the time required for setting up tests."

Mark Pompe, director of technology and Level III at West Penn, said, "The AMS-2628 standard is based on multi-zone testing technology. Over the years, West Penn Testing has inspected more than 22 million pounds of rotor-grade titanium billets using the multi-zone approach. However, a number of years ago we began a program to convert a percentage of our ultrasonic testing capabilities to PAUT. It is inevitable that this technology, which holds out so much promise for aerospace OEMs, will soon be in wider use. PAUT is already well established in other manufacturing industry sectors, such as ground transportation, where it has proven its worth."