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Nondestructive Inspection Technology: Supporting the Maintenance

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Nondestructive inspection is used to manage the quality of bridges, buildings, and other structures and also transportation equipment, members, and other industrial products. This is an important technology supporting a secure and safe society. AIST is researching new measurement technologies, such as deformation testing and flaw detection using stress luminescence substances and moire patterns. We are also developing small X-ray sources and nitride aluminum thin-film sensors. In this way, we are improving nondestructive inspection technology in a wide range of fields.

In AIST's deformation inspection using a stress luminescence substance, the concentration of deformation attributable to external force is measured by applying a coating agent and observing the object. This lets us know about stress on an object before the occurrence of a problem. Our deformation analysis technology using a moire pattern is expected to be applicable to practical inspections of not only dynamic deformation caused by external forces, but also deformation caused by aging.

AIST successfully developed a small, lightweight pulse X-ray source by using a carbon nanostructure electron source. This has enabled X-ray nondestructive inspections in spaces too small for conventional inspections and greatly extended the inspection environment. We also developed pressure, vibration, and AE sensors using thin films of aluminum nitride to detect precisely member changes under high-temperature environments. These sensors are contributing to preventing problems by monitoring the characteristics of industrial products used under fierce environments, such as high temperature and pressure.

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