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    ASTM E2533 - 21

    Standard Guide for Nondestructive Examination of Polymer Matrix Composites Used in Aerospace Applications

    Active Standard ASTM E2533 | Developed by Subcommittee: E07.10

    Book of Standards Volume: 03.04


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 This guide references requirements that are intended to control the quality of NDT data. The purpose of this guide, therefore, is not to establish acceptance criteria and therefore approve composite materials or components for aerospace service.

    5.2 Following the discretion of the cognizant engineering organization, NDT for fracture control of composite and bonded materials should follow additional guidance described in MIL-HDBK-6870, NASA-STD-(I)-5019, or MSFC-RQMT-3479, or a combination thereof, as appropriate (not covered in this guide).

    5.3 Certain procedures referenced in this guide are written so they can be specified on the engineering drawing, specification, purchase order, or contract, for example, Practice E1742/E1742M (Radiography).

    5.4 Acceptance Criteria—Determination about whether a composite material or component meets acceptance criteria and is suitable for aerospace service should be made by the cognizant engineering organization. When examinations are performed in accordance with the referenced documents in this guide, the engineering drawing, specification, purchase order, or contract should indicate the acceptance criteria.

    5.4.1 Accept/reject criteria should consist of a listing of the expected kinds of imperfections and the rejection level for each.

    5.4.2 The classification of the articles under test into zones for various accept/reject criteria should be determined from contractual documents.

    5.4.3 Rejection of Composite Articles—If the type, size, or quantities of defects are found to be outside the allowable limits specified by the drawing, purchase order, or contract, the composite article should be separated from acceptable articles, appropriately identified as discrepant, and submitted for material review by the cognizant engineering organization, and dispositioned as (1) acceptable as is, (2) subject to further rework or repair to make the materials or component acceptable, or (3) scrapped when required by contractual documents.

    5.4.4 Acceptance criteria and interpretation of result should be defined in requirements documents prior to performing the examination. Advance agreement should be reached between the purchaser and supplier regarding the interpretation of the results of the examinations. All discontinuities having signals that exceed the rejection level as defined by the process requirements documents should be rejected unless it is determined from the part drawing that the rejectable discontinuities will not remain in the finished part.

    5.5 Life Cycle Considerations—The referenced NDT practices and test methods have demonstrated utility in quality assurance of PMCs during the life cycle of the product. The modern NDT paradigm that has evolved and matured over the last twenty–five years has been fully demonstrated to provide benefits from the application of NDT during: (a) product and process design and optimization, (b) on-line process control, (c) after manufacture inspection, (d) in-service inspection, and (e) health monitoring.

    5.5.1 In-process NDT can be used for feedback process control since all tests are based upon measurements which do not damage the article under test.

    5.5.2 The applicability of NDT procedures to evaluate PMC materials and components during their life cycle is summarized in Tables 3 and 4.

    (A) Applicable to composites used in storage and distribution of fluids and gases, for example, filament-wound pressure vessels.

    5.6 General Geometry and Size Considerations—Part contour, curvature, and surface condition may limit the ability of certain tests to detect imperfections with the desired accuracy.

    5.7 Reporting—Reports and records should be specified by agreement between purchaser and supplier. It is recommended that any NDT report or archival record contain information, when available, about the material type; method of fabrication; manufacturer’s name; part number; lot; date of lay-up or of cure, or both; date and pressure load of previous tests (for pressure vessels); and previous service history (for in-service and failed composite articles). Forwards and backwards compatibility of data, data availability, criticality (length of data retention), specification change, specification revision and date, software and hardware considerations will also govern how reporting is performed.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This guide provides information to help engineers select appropriate nondestructive testing (NDT) methods to characterize aerospace polymer matrix composites (PMCs). This guide does not intend to describe every inspection technology. Rather, emphasis is placed on established NDT methods that have been developed into consensus standards and that are currently used by industry. Specific practices and test methods are not described in detail, but are referenced. The referenced NDT practices and test methods have demonstrated utility in quality assurance of PMCs during process design and optimization, process control, after manufacture inspection, in-service inspection, and health monitoring.

    1.2 This guide does not specify accept-reject criteria and is not intended to be used as a means for approving composite materials or components for service.

    1.3 This guide covers the following established NDT methods as applied to PMCs: Acoustic Emission (AE, Section 7); Computed Tomography (CT, Section 8); Leak Testing (LT, Section 9); Radiographic Testing, Computed Radiography, Digital Radiography, and Radioscopy (RT, CR, DR, RTR, Section 10); Shearography (Section 11); Strain Measurement (Contact Methods, Section 12); Thermography (Section 13); Ultrasonic Testing (UT, Section 14); and Visual Testing (VT, Section 15).

    1.4 The value of this guide consists of the narrative descriptions of general procedures and significance and use sections for established NDT practices and test methods as applied to PMCs. Additional information is provided about the use of currently active standard documents (an emphasis is placed on applicable standard guides, practices, and test methods of ASTM Committee E07 on Nondestructive Testing), geometry and size considerations, safety and hazards considerations, and information about physical reference standards.

    1.5 To ensure proper use of the referenced standard documents, there are recognized NDT specialists that are certified in accordance with industry and company NDT specifications. It is recommended that a NDT specialist be a part of any composite component design, quality assurance, in-service maintenance, or damage examination.

    1.6 This guide summarizes the application of NDT procedures to fiber- and fabric-reinforced polymeric matrix composites. The composites of interest are primarily, but not exclusively, limited to those containing high modulus (greater than 20 GPa (3×106 psi)) fibers. Furthermore, an emphasis is placed on composites with continuous (versus discontinuous) fiber reinforcement.

    1.7 This guide is applicable to PMCs containing, but not limited to, bismaleimide, epoxy, phenolic, poly(amide imide), polybenzimidazole, polyester (thermosetting and thermoplastic), poly(ether ether ketone), poly(ether imide), polyimide (thermosetting and thermoplastic), poly(phenylene sulfide), or polysulfone matrices; and alumina, aramid, boron, carbon, glass, quartz, or silicon carbide fibers.

    Note 1: Per the discretion of the cognizant engineering organization, composite materials not developed and qualified in accordance with the guidelines in CMH-17, Volumes 1 and 3 should have an approved material usage agreement.

    1.8 The composite materials considered herein include uniaxial laminae, cross-ply laminates, angle-ply laminates, and sandwich constructions. The composite components made therefrom include filament-wound pressure vessels, flight control surfaces, and various structural composites.

    1.9 For current and potential NDT procedures for finding indications of discontinuities in the composite overwrap and thin-walled metallic liners in filament-wound pressure vessels, also known as composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs), refer to Guides E2981 and E2982, respectively.

    1.10 For a summary of the application of destructive ASTM standard practices and test methods (and other supporting standards) to continuous-fiber reinforced PMCs, refer to Guide D4762.

    1.11 Units—The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses after SI units are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

    1.12 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

    1.13 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D3878 Terminology for Composite Materials

    D4762 Guide for Testing Polymer Matrix Composite Materials

    E94/E94M Guide for Radiographic Examination Using Industrial Radiographic Film

    E114 Practice for Ultrasonic Pulse-Echo Straight-Beam Contact Testing

    E214 Practice for Immersed Ultrasonic Testing by the Reflection Method Using Pulsed Longitudinal Waves

    E251 Test Methods for Performance Characteristics of Metallic Bonded Resistance Strain Gages

    E317 Practice for Evaluating Performance Characteristics of Ultrasonic Pulse-Echo Testing Instruments and Systems without the Use of Electronic Measurement Instruments

    E427 Practice for Testing for Leaks Using the Halogen Leak Detector Alkali-Ion Diode

    E432 Guide for Selection of a Leak Testing Method

    E493/E493M Practice for Leaks Using the Mass Spectrometer Leak Detector in the Inside-Out Testing Mode

    E498/E498M Practice for Leaks Using the Mass Spectrometer Leak Detector or Residual Gas Analyzer in the Tracer Probe Mode

    E499/E499M Practice for Leaks Using the Mass Spectrometer Leak Detector in the Detector Probe Mode

    E515 Practice for Leaks Using Bubble Emission Techniques

    E543 Specification for Agencies Performing Nondestructive Testing

    E569/E569M Practice for Acoustic Emission Monitoring of Structures During Controlled Stimulation

    E650/E650M Guide for Mounting Piezoelectric Acoustic Emission Sensors

    E664/E664M Practice for the Measurement of the Apparent Attenuation of Longitudinal Ultrasonic Waves by Immersion Method

    E747 Practice for Design, Manufacture and Material Grouping Classification of Wire Image Quality Indicators (IQI) Used for Radiology

    E750 Practice for Characterizing Acoustic Emission Instrumentation

    E976 Guide for Determining the Reproducibility of Acoustic Emission Sensor Response

    E1000 Guide for Radioscopy

    E1001 Practice for Detection and Evaluation of Discontinuities by the Immersed Pulse-Echo Ultrasonic Method Using Longitudinal Waves

    E1002 Practice for Leaks Using Ultrasonics

    E1003 Practice for Hydrostatic Leak Testing

    E1025 Practice for Design, Manufacture, and Material Grouping Classification of Hole-Type Image Quality Indicators (IQI) Used for Radiography

    E1065/E1065M Practice for Evaluating Characteristics of Ultrasonic Search Units

    E1066/E1066M Practice for Ammonia Colorimetric Leak Testing

    E1067/E1067M Practice for Acoustic Emission Examination of Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic Resin (FRP) Tanks/Vessels

    E1118/E1118M Practice for Acoustic Emission Examination of Reinforced Thermosetting Resin Pipe (RTRP)

    E1211/E1211M Practice for Leak Detection and Location Using Surface-Mounted Acoustic Emission Sensors

    E1213 Practice for Minimum Resolvable Temperature Difference for Thermal Imaging Systems

    E1237 Guide for Installing Bonded Resistance Strain Gages

    E1255 Practice for Radioscopy

    E1311 Practice for Minimum Detectable Temperature Difference for Thermal Imaging Systems

    E1316 Terminology for Nondestructive Examinations

    E1324 Guide for Measuring Some Electronic Characteristics of Ultrasonic Testing Instruments

    E1411 Practice for Qualification of Radioscopic Systems

    E1419/E1419M Practice for Examination of Seamless, Gas-Filled, Pressure Vessels Using Acoustic Emission

    E1441 Guide for Computed Tomography (CT)

    E1543 Practice for Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference of Thermal Imaging Systems

    E1570 Practice for Fan Beam Computed Tomographic (CT) Examination

    E1603/E1603M Practice for Leakage Measurement Using the Mass Spectrometer Leak Detector or Residual Gas Analyzer in the Hood Mode

    E1647 Practice for Determining Contrast Sensitivity in Radiology

    E1672 Guide for Computed Tomography (CT) System Selection

    E1695 Test Method for Measurement of Computed Tomography (CT) System Performance

    E1742/E1742M Practice for Radiographic Examination

    E1815 Test Method for Classification of Film Systems for Industrial Radiography

    E1817 Practice for Controlling Quality of Radiological Examination by Using Representative Quality Indicators (RQIs)

    E1862 Practice for Measuring and Compensating for Reflected Temperature Using Infrared Imaging Radiometers

    E1897 Practice for Measuring and Compensating for Transmittance of an Attenuating Medium Using Infrared Imaging Radiometers

    E1901 Guide for Detection and Evaluation of Discontinuities by Contact Pulse-Echo Straight-Beam Ultrasonic Methods

    E1932 Guide for Acoustic Emission Examination of Small Parts

    E1933 Practice for Measuring and Compensating for Emissivity Using Infrared Imaging Radiometers

    E1934 Guide for Examining Electrical and Mechanical Equipment with Infrared Thermography

    E1935 Test Method for Calibrating and Measuring CT Density

    E2002 Practice for Determining Total Image Unsharpness and Basic Spatial Resolution in Radiography and Radioscopy

    E2007 Guide for Computed Radiography

    E2024/E2024M Practice for Atmospheric Leaks Using a Thermal Conductivity Leak Detector

    E2033 Practice for Radiographic Examination Using Computed Radiography (Photostimulable Luminescence Method)

    E2076/E2076M Practice for Examination of Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic Fan Blades Using Acoustic Emission

    E2104 Practice for Radiographic Examination of Advanced Aero and Turbine Materials and Components

    E2191/E2191M Practice for Examination of Gas-Filled Filament-Wound Composite Pressure Vessels Using Acoustic Emission

    E2208 Guide for Evaluating Non-Contacting Optical Strain Measurement Systems

    E2445/E2445M Practice for Performance Evaluation and Long-Term Stability of Computed Radiography Systems

    E2446 Practice for Manufacturing Characterization of Computed Radiography Systems

    E2580 Practice for Ultrasonic Testing of Flat Panel Composites and Sandwich Core Materials Used in Aerospace Applications

    E2581 Practice for Shearography of Polymer Matrix Composites and Sandwich Core Materials in Aerospace Applications

    E2582 Practice for Infrared Flash Thermography of Composite Panels and Repair Patches Used in Aerospace Applications

    E2597/E2597M Practice for Manufacturing Characterization of Digital Detector Arrays

    E2661/E2661M Practice for Acoustic Emission Examination of Plate-like and Flat Panel Composite Structures Used in Aerospace Applications

    E2662 Practice for Radiographic Examination of Flat Panel Composites and Sandwich Core Materials Used in Aerospace Applications

    E2736 Guide for Digital Detector Array Radiography

    E2737 Practice for Digital Detector Array Performance Evaluation and Long-Term Stability

    E2981 Guide for Nondestructive Examination of Composite Overwraps in Filament Wound Pressure Vessels Used in Aerospace Applications

    E2982 Guide for Nondestructive Testing of Thin-Walled Metallic Liners in Filament-Wound Pressure Vessels Used in Aerospace Applications

    F1364 Practice for Use of a Calibration Device to Demonstrate the Inspection Capability of an Interferometric Laser Imaging Nondestructive Tire Inspection System


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 49.025.40 (Rubber and plastics)

    Referencing This Standard
    Link Here
    Link to Active (This link will always route to the current Active version of the standard.)

    DOI: 10.1520/E2533-21

    Citation Format

    ASTM E2533-21, Standard Guide for Nondestructive Examination of Polymer Matrix Composites Used in Aerospace Applications, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2021, www.astm.org

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