US 9,810,596 B2
Leak detection in composite structures
Charles William Thomas, Issaquah, WA (US); and Kenneth M. Dull, Puyallup, WA (US)
Assigned to THE BOEING COMPANY, Chicago, IL (US)
Filed by The Boeing Company, Chicago, IL (US)
Filed on Jan. 30, 2014, as Appl. No. 14/168,316.
Claims priority of provisional application 61/885,153, filed on Oct. 1, 2013.
Prior Publication US 2015/0090005 A1, Apr. 2, 2015
Int. Cl. G01M 3/04 (2006.01); G01M 3/38 (2006.01)
CPC G01M 3/04 (2013.01) [G01M 3/047 (2013.01); G01M 3/38 (2013.01)] 5 Claims
OG exemplary drawing
 
1. A method of maintaining a composite laminate aircraft structure, comprising:
identifying a non-conformity in an area of the structure;
determining from a frontside of the structure whether a leak exists through a thickness of the structure within the area;
if a leak has been determined to exist through the thickness of the structure, removing material from the structure within the area;
determining from the frontside of the structure whether a leak exists through the thickness of the structure within the area after the material has been removed from the structure;
if a leak has been determined to exist through the thickness of the structure after the material has been removed, sealing the leak; and
installing a patch on the structure covering the area if material has been removed from the structure within the area.