INSONO™ composite repair inspection

INSONO technician using handheld probe on composite repair


INSONO™ (the Inspection Services Body within ICR) is a cutting-edge non-destructive testing technique designed for inspecting composite repairs applied to metallic components. With validation from the Welding Institute (TWI) and UKAS accreditation, INSONO™ has been developed to ensure the condition and integrity of composite repairs. It offers operators assurance in installation, long-term performance, and provides evidence supporting the life extension of the repair. 


Why inspect composites?

As aging assets and composite repairs reach the end of their design life, there is a growing need to revalidate or extend their lifespan. This allows operators to avoid costly replacement options that may lead to asset shutdowns. Regulatory bodies are increasingly focusing on integrity management and condition monitoring of repairs, making the inspection of defined life repairs crucial for ensuring continued safe and reliable operations. 

However, current inspection techniques face limitations in practical deployment in the field and accessing complex geometries with a single technique or product. INSONO™ addresses these challenges, providing a practical solution for inspections and potentially allowing the use of composite repairs in higher-risk locations, subject to risk assessment and engineering validation.


INSONO™ offers numerous benefits to operators and industries: 

  • Ongoing Inspection and Life Extension: Allows for the ongoing inspection and safe extension of defined life repairs, reducing carbon emissions associated with traditional steel replacement. 
  • Portability and Accessibility: The portable hand-held equipment, along with specifically designed probes, can be used on all system configurations and geometries, including areas with challenging access. The equipment fits in a small peli-case, ensuring easy transportation. 
  • Precise Detection: ICR’s manually operated modified probes are designed to access all system configurations, detect defects in the composite material, the bond line, and the metallic substrate, providing a comprehensive inspection report. 
  • Automated Reporting: Additionally, an automated and user-friendly visual inspection report/3D model is provided, enhancing the efficiency of the inspection process. 


INSONO™ excels in detecting defects in three main areas of concern: 

  • The Bond Line
  • Interlaminar Dis-bonds 
  • The Steel Substrate


Using principles of acoustic inspection methods such as pitch and catch, resonance, and mechanical impedance analysis, INSONO™ can detect and size flaws. The scanner provides 3D models and visual representations of the composite repair, allowing for precise dimensions to be used in assessments. 

This innovative technique offers clients the confidence to validate and extend the life of repairs based on data-driven assessments.