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Frost and Sullivan believe that stringent regulations, safety concerns and the expanding applications of composites will push uptake of non-destructive testing.
The company state that advanced composite materials are being used to develop more durable, lightweight and high performance materials and products. They are increasingly being applied within the aerospace, automotive, oil and gas, and wind energy sectors, particularly in critical structural applications, where structural integrity is essential. However, these composite materials are susceptible to flaws. As such, non-destructive testing (NDT) detects the presence of internal irregularities in the composite material, without affecting its physical integrity and subsequent service.
“Composite applications are strictly compliance-driven and there are stringent government safety regulations to which the composites industry must adhere,” noted Frost & Sullivan Technical Insights Research Analyst, Mousumi Dasgupta. “These regulations have generated significant demand for NDT methods and inspection services. They also act as one of the key drivers for growth in the composite-focused NDT market.”
Frost and Sullivan says that whilst such trends are positioned to give the market added momentum, a major challenge faced by NDT for composites industry is the lack of trained operators as well as limited knowledge about the structural complexity of composites, is hindering market growth.
NDT device manufacturers and developers are attempting to introduce easy to use systems that would require minimal operator knowledge for carrying out the inspection. They are also developing automated tools that offer improved defect detection capability, which might replace manual testing techniques.
“For inspecting exceptionally large parts and production volumes, computer-controlled robotic systems are being integrated with NDT devices,” concluded Dasgupta. “Rapid data processing is now possible with advancements in hardware and software, which allows the operator to detect damage in real time.”
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