Delta Air Lines’ (NYSE: DAL) maintenance division, Delta TechOps, has received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval to implement Process Compensated Resonance Testing (PCRT), a method of non-destructive testing that identifies over-temperature conditions in aircraft engines. The PCRT inspection replaces the previous Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) sample-based destructive inspection of suspect turbine blades.
Developed by Vibrant Corporation, PCRT is a relatively new aerospace technology that provides environmentally friendly, cost-effective and fast reporting on the structural integrity of components. Specifically, PCRT offers increased sensitivity to defects, less engine down time and reduced waste from blades that test negative for over-temperature conditions. Delta was awarded FAA approval as it begins the second year of a three-year agreement with Vibrant as the exclusive commercial aviation supplier.
“This is another example of TechOps applying cutting-edge technology to benefit our MRO operations,” said David Piotrowski, principal engineer, Delta TechOps. “PCRT increases reliability on the JT8D-219 engine while keeping maintenance costs competitive.”
“Delta has been fantastic to partner with in our effort to display the full capabilities of PCRT,” said Greg Weaver, director of operations of Vibrant Corporation. “In our tests, we are not only uncovering overtemps in the blades, but also discovering cracking, inter-granular attacks and thin airfoil walls.”
Delta TechOps and Vibrant’s collective efforts have not gone unnoticed. Recently, the FAA and ATA recognized them as winners of the 2010 FAA-ATA Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) “Better Way” award. The annual award recognizes a government or industry team that has developed and applied a technology, technique, process or policy that results in a more sensitive, reliable or cost-effective process for inspecting and testing aircraft or aviation components and systems. Delta has won this honor six times in eight years.
Delta has expanded its original exploration of PCRT applications from turbine blades and vanes to aircraft wheels, fasteners and engine components, including applications targeting CFM 56-7b and PW 4000 engines.
Story can be found at: http://news.delta.com/index.php?s=43&item=1141
Vibrant is a spin off of Mechtronic Solutions, Inc. that has commercialized Process Compensated Resonance Testing (PCRT) for use in the aerospace and power generation industries. The PCRT technology, licensed from Magnaflux Quasar, is a revolutionary non-destructive testing technology that can determine if a component is structurally sound and fit for service. Vibrant has developed PCRT applications focused on the safety critical components found in the aerospace industry. These applications bring the power of PCRT to bear on new product quality control and in-service product degradation tracking. Vibrant is now performing testing services for several major aerospace manufacturers and Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) firms.