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Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner Uses Agilent Technologies’ Handheld Spectrometer

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Agilent Technologies Inc. has announced the Agilent 4100 ExoScan handheld Fourier transform infrared spectrometer was added to Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner service repair manual for its ability to evaluate thermal exposure of the aircraft’s composite elements.

The fuselage, wings and other major components of Boeing’s much-anticipated 787 Dreamliner are constructed of an advanced carbon-fiber composite, requiring new, non-destructive methods to inspect for potential damage.

Following multi-year studies, the Agilent 4100 ExoScan was found to be an ideal instrument to measure the degree of thermal exposure on the fuselage and other carbon-fiber components.

“The 4100 ExoScan system continues to create new opportunities for FTIR spectroscopy in applications where the system must be used in demanding, out-of-lab situations,” said Philip Binns, Agilent vice president for spectroscopy products.

Binns continued, “With the expanding use of composite materials in the aerospace industry, we are pleased that the ExoScan FTIR system can make a meaningful contribution to efficient manufacturing and maintenance of aircraft.”

The ExoScan FTIR system, which has the performance and sample interface required to successfully analyze carbon-fiber composites, is an example of how analytical instrumentation is increasingly utilized in out-of-the-lab applications.

To qualify the system for use on aircraft, engineers carried out extensive comparisons using the handheld FTIR technology and more traditional lab-based methods, including destructive thermal and mechanical tests.

The ExoScan is used in many other in-the-field applications as well, such as materials analysis, art-object conservation and geosciences.

For those analysts who need a lab-based system now, and a handheld system for occasional or future work, the ExoScan is available with a docking station that makes it a very effective bench-top FTIR.