Pratt & Whitney Selects CTI's Thermal Quality Assurance System For Turbines

08 July 2002

Pratt & Whitney selected Computerized Thermal Imaging to provide its new, non-destructive, industrial thermal imaging system to increase quality assurance in engine design and manufacturing.

The agreement follows several months of successful testing by P&W. ""Incorporating this technology into our inspection process will help us extract additional data about our engines,"" Ray Jabick, Pratt and Whitney's director of capital procurement, said. ""This purchase is a strategic quality assurance move for Pratt and Whitney,"" John Brenna, CTI's president and COO, told Defense Daily in a telephone interview last week. ""Our technology can test critical turbine components under the same conditions they are used operationally.""

Previous systems, such as X-ray or high pressure air and water systems, relied extensively on highly trained technicians to analyze images and data, and did not replicate operational conditions, Brenna said. Some systems also require the destruction of the tested components to determine material changes and defects. The thermal imaging system features patented automatic defect analysis software and a fixture that allows components such as turbine blades, vanes and other critical components to be tested, Brenna said. ""Operational level thermal stimulus is induced on the component, which then emits thermal stresses,"" Brenna said. ""A series of thermal images are then captured and processed by defect recognition software to determine the presence of flaws"" such as core shift and anomalies.

This is the first such contract for CTI, but the company hopes to get the interest of other industry leaders and possibly apply the technology to composites and other material and bond analysis applications, Brenna said.

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