Reading time 4 minutes

This film reports the interview of Sophie Senani, Airbus Group Research Engineer, and Jean-François Létard, President of OliKrom within the framework of the ChoCOComp program, a disruptive innovation in the inspection of composites in aeronautics

During the transport of the various parts of an Airbus from all over Europe to the final assembly line, the risk of an impact during transport, or even during assembly, cannot be excluded. Non-destructive ultrasonic testing guarantees the identification of any damage for repair, but this phase is very time consuming, about two hours per square meter.

The paint developed by OliKrom allows the naked eye to identify any impact above a certain threshold. The color of the paint changes under the effect of a pressure variation following an impact. The idea is to facilitate the detection of impact zones during assembly. Ultrasound inspection would eventually be limited to useful areas that could be damaged, as opposed to the entire structure, which would save considerable time in production.

Today, the proof of concept has been validated on real parts, and current work focuses on adapting pressure thresholds in accordance with the specific specifications of the parts in question, so that the industrialization phase can be tackled. “The added value of our partnership is an undeniable synergy. Our expertise in aeronautical materials combined with that of OliKrom in intelligent pigments leads to very innovative solutions for our needs. Moreover, OliKrom is an industrial company and this is clearly an advantage because their approach is to offer finished products on the market; this allows us to go faster in the search for solutions,” concludes Sophie Senani (read Sophie Senani’s full testimony on the Airbus Group – OliKrom collaboration).

The ChoCOComp program was supported by the French National Research Agency and the DGA. It is a multi-partner project, academic and industrial (National Research Agency).