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Current Research

Our current projects focus on research into NDE techniques including Holographic Interferometry, Digital Shearography (DS) and  Electronic Speckle Pattern Interferometry (ESPI) for the prototyping, refining and verification of portable NDE equipment.

Currently UCT's NDT Laboratory researchers are involved in enhancements to the Shearography system to widen its capability to perform ESPI functions, and a totally different approach for the production of a low cost Shearography system, the use of pulsed Thermography in parallel supplementing Shearography or as a stand alone mode, studies of particular application of the Acoustic Emission NDT technique on the behaviour of composites under stress and feasibility studies of embedded sensors in composite structures.

Typical short term practical projects involve the detection of defects / flaws / delaminations in structures of a composite nature e.g. helicopter main rotor blade, aircraft tyres, pilot helmets.  Projects of more academic nature involve the sensitivity of the ESPI or DS techniques for out-of-plane and in-plane displacements and gradients.  The research and development of perturbation techniques ( heating, vacuum or pressure stressing, mechanical and vibratory ) best suited for various applications is an ongoing subject. We also continuously develop and update our software requirements.

Our long term projects involve the R&D required for the production and refinement of technology demonstrators (prototypes) in ESPI and DS.  We continuously seek to adopt the latest technology available when developing our systems e.g.  diode lasers, digitisers, digital cameras, fibre optics, phase steppers etc.  Successful DS and ESPI prototypes has been unveiled and can be seen here.

We are able to offer scholarships to students who citizens of South Africa and who are both eligible and interested in pursuing postgraduate studies in optical interference techniques suited for NDT/NDE applications.  We are also able to offer a subvention to honours students who embark on research projects covering aspects of optical interference techniques, NDT/NDE methods or defect detection and classification. 

For further details, please contact us