A team of National Institute of Standards and Technology researchers has developed a nondestructive process for the detection of cracks on multilayer ceramic capacitors that are widely used in spacecraft and implantable medical technology.
NIST said Monday it tested the nonlinear crack-detection method with other researchers from the University of Maryland, NASA‘s Goddard Space Flight Center and the Colorado State University.
The approach, which involves high-frequency acoustic measurements, helped the NIST-led research team identify visible cracks in more than 90 percent of sample ceramic capacitors during a study.
The agency added it believes the technique holds potential to prevent electrical failures in cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators, satellites and space vehicles.
NIST has partnered with a capacitor manufacturer to conduct further studies to quantify crack-detection levels using the agency’s nonlinear acoustic method.