Manually, aircraft maintenance practices and procedures are getting more and more technologically sophisticated. Despite the sophistication, it’s still often necessary to simply look at aircraft engine parts and mechanical assemblies via visual inspection, as know as industrial quality borescope. Borescopes, based on technologically advanced optical systems, are a frequent choice in inspecting mission-critical parts or components in aviation.
Problems that need visual inspection, industrial quality borescope
For most combustion chamber and turbine blade inspection needs, industrial quality borescope is an invaluable tool. Borescopic inspection becomes imperative when certain factors exist:
- Limited access: Deep bores, cross holes or undercuts, or parts located in inaccessible sections of an aircraft or aircraft detail, require using borescopic inspection to determine key characteristics and the problems can not be observed by human eyes.
- Critical components: The part or component is mission critical — for instance, mating surfaces with a gasket between them that might prevent leakage in a fuel system.
- Unspecified troubleshooting: When specified characteristics are not well defined — corrosion, blockages, debri, and the like, there’s no substitute for the human brain to identify what can be defects.
Types of industrial quality borescope and their uses
The two most common types of borescopes used in aircraft inspection are rigid and flexible borescopes.
Rigid borescopes deliver the highest resolution and brightest images, and are more durable and more economical. These scopes use traditional lens-relay systems to transmit images. The lenses are usually assembled inside a rigid stainless-steel tube. If access into the part to be inspected allows the use of a rigid borescope, it is the best investment. This type of borescope is used when the area to be inspected is reachable in a straight path, as in many machined parts, tubes, and some molded parts. For many turbine blade and combustion chamber inspections, a rigid borescope is the best bet.
In contrast, if the pathway to the inspection area is indirect — through a curved pipe, bent tube, or complex casting, for instance — users should work with a flexible borescope. These scopes employ a fiber-optic image bundle housed inside a flexible sheath. The resolution of a flexible borescope is defined by the number of optical fibers in the instrument’s imaging bundle; this number can range from 10,000 to 30,000 pixels. However, flexible borescopes are not the answer to all user needs. Because of the fiber optics, the image quality is not as good as rigid borescopes. Also, flexible borescopes can be expensive, more fragile, and sometimes hard to handle. However, even with these limitations, excellent-quality flexible borescopes are available and the need for flexibility is often the most important factor.
Industrial quality borescope in maintenance
In the aircraft maintenance world, mechanics use borescopes primarily as part of scheduled maintenance. Specialty service and repair facilities, in particular, use borescopes frequently. Also, a number of manufacturers require borescopic inspection of certain parts, and some manufacturers specify borescopic inspection to get information, data for trend/condition monitoring.
A typical turbine engine offers several avenues for borescopic inspection. In the combustion chamber, manufacturers specify inspection criteria, but issues include corrosion, cracking due to heat, and shifting of the chamber. More particularly, borescopes are frequently used to inspect:
- Turbine blades corrosion
- Fuel nozzles corrosion, physical damage, carbon buildup
- Burner can cracking, hot spots indicating uneven flame distribution, corrosion on housing welds)
- Igniter corrosion, although this part is usually relatively easy to remove for inspection with the naked eye
- Air cooling holes corrosion
Benefits of using a quality borescope
The benefits of using borescopes are numerous:
Without borescopes, mechanics would be left with disassembly as the only inspection option for inaccessible areas. That fact has specific implications for commercial and charter airlines, perhaps best expressed in the saying “time is money” — certainly a truism in aviation. Disassembling a small jet engine could take two experienced mechanics eight to 10 hours. But with a borescope, one mechanic might spend an hour on the same inspection. And, disassembly means more downtime for aircraft, which make money for airlines and charter services only when they’re in the air.
There is no substitute for the human eye and brain working together to solve a problem. If a parameter is off — perhaps the engine is running hotter than normal, or its speed is off — the mechanic knows a problem exists, but a borescope can pinpoint where on the inside of the engine the damage lies.
Borescope inspection is easy to learn and requires minimal training. What inspectors see through a scope is usually easily recognizable, requiring no interpretation or guesswork. The proficiency that comes with experience allows mechanics to identify subtle issues like the shifting of a burner can, for instance, that might otherwise go unnoticed.
Shodensha – The pioneer in offering Japanese quality borescope camera
Shodensha Vietnam Co., Ltd. operates with the motto of giving customers peace of mind when using Japanese brand optical microscope products with such high quality and reasonable price. Starting with the supply of microscope and microscope products, we are still making continuous efforts to increasingly improve product quality, technical improvements in many types of products to serve our important needs customers.
Our industrial quality borescope products have high quality with all details and accessories made and exported from Japan, one of the most technologically developed nations in the world. We ensure to deliver to our customers convenience as well as best experience and satisfaction when working with us buying products from us!
Shodensha Vietnam Co., Ltd.
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