Laser Bond Inspection

Non-Destructive Evaluation for Adhesively Bonded Structures

Talk To Us About LBI

Laser Bond Inspection (LBI) ensures bonded structures meet minimum strength requirements and identifies deficiencies that cannot be detected via other non-destructive inspection methods.

What can Lbi do for you?

Laser Bond Inspection provides proof test validation that structures meet their strength ratings and design requirements. The process is calibrated to identify weak bonds, while leaving acceptable bonds unaffected. Laser Bond Inspection does not induce any deficiencies in structures that have been assembled to acceptable specifications. If the bond passes inspection, the structure is safe to use. Even after multiple inspections in the same location, LBI does no harm to acceptable bonds

Key Milestones

  • 2002 Patented LBI Process
  • 2004 Demonstrated Process on Flat Panels
  • 2006 Built Prototype With SBIR Phase I Contracts
  • 2010 Demonstrated process on Pi Joints
  • 2012 First System Delivered to Boeing
  • 2014 Designed Inspection Head for Confined Spaces Using SBIR Phase II Contracts

How LBI Works

  1. Determine bond line fluence levels testing and modelling establish two laser fluence levels
  2. Inspection spot preperation real-time bond strength test starts with application of inspection tape
  3. Surface protection black (opaque) tape absorbs laser energy and generates stress waves
  4. Position inspection head inspection head is aligned and ready to begin three-laser-pulse inspection method
  5. Baseline inspection laser pulse low-energy laser pulse that generates an EMAT signal characterizing bondeline response to the laser-generated stress wave
  6. Bond line interrogation laser pulsea second laser pulse at the test fluence is applied to stress the bond such that a good bond will not be affected, but a substandard bond will fail
  7. Base line comparison laser pulse another low-energy laser pulse re-characterizes the response of the bondline to the laser-generated stress wave
  8. Data analysis results EMAT signal traces from the inspection and comparison laser pulses are analyzed by a computer algorithm. If the two traces are identical – the bond is sufficiently strong – if the traces are different – the bond is substandard. Results are displayed on the LBI inspection head, a green light indicates acceptable bond and a red light indicates a substandard bond.

See a Laser Bond Inspection Demonstration

Laser Bond Inspection System

  • Eye-safe inspection head
  • Articulating arm beam delivery with reach up to 10 feet
  • Cart-mounted construction for jobsite movement
  • Easy operator controls
  • Integrated EMAT sensor
  • Display screen for process monitoring
  • Amplifier lamps are replaceable without need of realignment
Eye-safe inspection head
Easy operator controls

Figure 1: Eye-safe inspection head

  • Detect weak or substandard bond
  • Composite structure manufacturing and maintenance
  • Evaluate scarf repairs
  • Evaluate boron patch repairs
  • Detect kissing bonds
  • Evaluate coating adhesion
  • Inspection Pi joints

Ready to explore how Laser Bond Inspection can fit into your process?

More on Laser Bond Inspection

LBI Technology provides a measurable and effective NDI method to repeatedly validate the safety and integrity of adhesive bonds.

Are you interested in learning more on how LBI works and the benefits you’ll see for your structures? Fill out the form and discover how LBI can add efficiency and precision for your applications through nondestructive testing and evaluation.



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Laser Bond Inspection FAQs

  • Laser Bond Inspection can be applied to any bonded material, including composites of all forms, metals, polymers, and ceramics.

  • Laser Bond Inspection was initially developed for inspecting bonded joints, but it can have other applications when material response to a tailored stress wave provides valuable information about structural integrity. For example, LBI can be used to inspect welded joints for cold (unfused) welds or for detecting subsurface cracks.

  • As currently configured, each inspection point requires about 30 seconds to complete. This is a configurable parameter that can be adjusted to meet specific customer requirements.

  • The bondline is interrogated by a tensile stress wave of known magnitude. If no changes are detected in the bondline after this interrogation, the bond can be determined to have a minimum strength value equivalent to the magnitude of the tensile wave. If this value exceeds the minimun required threshold for the structure, then the bond is sufficient for safe operation.