Non-Destructive Testing with THz Waves

Non-contact, non-destructive Terahertz measuring technology offers a number of advantages over alternative non-destructive testing methods. Unlike X-ray or UV radiation, terahertz waves, due to their comparatively low energy, do not induce a change in the chemical structure of the material under investigation, and they are not harmful to humans. This makes terahertz technology an interesting tool for industrial quality control.

Harnessing terahertz technology for industrial quality control is the object of several projects. This involves the development of powerful components and the development of complete systems for special applications.

Scientists at the Institute together with international partners are developing systems for security applications and product testing. Some systems for quality control of modern materials such as glass-fiber reinforced plastics (GFRP), plastics or ceramics and systems for the detection of explosives and drugs have already been realized. They demonstrate that the time has come for the industrial use of terahertz measurement technology.

In a project funded by the EU we developed together with international partners from research and industry a terahertz scanner for quality control of glass-fiber reinforced plastics which are commonly used in aircraft construction today. Terahertz technology proves particularly useful for the inspection of cavities and for composite materials with honeycomb structures or foam materials.

Material defects and inclusions in the order of less than a millimeter can be detected by terahertz imaging techniques.

Example Projects



In the project »ASKIVIT«, we are working with partners on automated sorting to recover wood, wood-based materials and non-ferrous metals. Our experience in the field of terahertz imaging, among other things, is supporting here.



Within the framework of the DOTNAC project, funded by the EU, we developed a terahertz scanner for testing aircraft components together with partners from research and industry.



A millimeter-wave terahertz system developed by our institute checks radar domes of planes (radom) for defects.


Handheld Terahertz Sensor

The handheld scanner is a complete Terahertz system for non-destructive on-site testing.