Microstructural Characterization of Failed Aircraft Antenna
This paper presents the failure analysis of aircraft antenna which is a sub-assembly of Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) used with Air Traffic Control (ATC) transponder. The base of the damaged antenna (metallic part) is made from Al-based alloy. The micrographs exhibit the typical solidification microstructure consisting of Al-rich matrix along with Si- and Mg-Si-Fe- rich phases. The antenna is coated with the paint consisting of three layers. First and third layers display the presence of Ti and C while second layer consists of Si, Cr and C elements. The small amount of oxygen is also present in all the three layers. The cracks are appeared in the central region of the fin due to impact of external objects (appears to be blankings and particles). Three types of foreign object damage particles are observed on the damaged / hit area. The antenna appears to be damaged during gale as a result of hitting of the large particles lying in aircraft parking area and aircraft engine blankings.
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