International Society for Neutron Radiology (ISNR)

by Cheul Muu Sim

Dr. Burkhard Schillinger emailed us that Ray Tsukimura who was C.E.O of Aerotest had peacefully passed away because of lymphoma in 11th April 2017. As soon as I heard the news, his enthusiastic and academic appearance at WCNR-10 held in Grindelwald Switzerland in 5-10 Oct. 2014, came to my own mind suddenly. And a while later, I have been recalling of many things that Ray Tsukimura helped me perform a NR test of turbine blades since 2003.

Ray Tsukimura interpreted NR film at Aerotest Lab (April, 2004).
Ray Tsukimura (left) posed with Dr. Sim (middle) and Prof. Slaughter of Utah Uni. (right) in front a poster of turbine blade NR test (ITMNR-6, Kobe Japan. Sep. 14-18, 2008).
Dr. Sim posed in front of Aerotest (2009).

It has been reported that the accident rate of fighters is about 1% (KIMM 2014 NDT-Research report of high speed machinery safety). I was told from aircraft experts that the main cause of the accident was an engine problem. After 2003, we discussed with the air force nondestructive experts to solve these problems. I have visited Aerotest several times to explore a possibility of neutron non-destructive testing using Gd-Tagging for turbine blades-in use. I discussed the possibilities with Ray Tsukmura who organized industrial neutron radiography of turbine blade.

Every time I visited the company, Ray helped me learn a series of procedures related to turbine blade inspection with Gd tagging. He guided me like a student through the examination process like a mature professor. What I can not forget so far is lowering his body and even kneeling to teach me what I do not understood. Since then, I used the Arerotest NR test room and Gd tagging system as my laboratory. Without his care, it would have been impossible. I still have been embracing the rich lunch and dinner in my heart I had shared with you during being there of the experiment

I went to Aerotest with 280 turbine blades that had been approved for reuse by X-ray inspection 2009. 280 turbine blades were tagged by Gd and inspected by NR. Surprisingly, we noticed that many defects that had not been found in the X-ray were found in 13% of the 280 turbine blades. At first, the air force nondestructive experts did not accept the results. Therefore, the suspect defect specimens were subjected to wire cutting for SEM inspection and dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. Finally, the defects were judged to be hot corrosion. The turbine blade in which the defects had been found were condemned. I had a good chance to persuade them to appreciate the advantages of neutron radiography. After that, air force side began applying neutron radiography techniques. This result was published in the Journal of Nondestructive Evaluation-(2014 33:493-503) "Detecting internal hot corrosion of in-service turbine blades using neutron tomography with Gd tagging" in 2014. Much of this paper was made up of Ray 's constant consideration.

Neutron tomography images of blue circles and arrow indicate hot corrosion in cooling holes in in-use turbine blades (Neutron Tomography pixel number: 2048x 2048 Pixel size: 0.073mm).
SEM analysis showing pitting corrosion defects with a size of about 150 μm in in-use turbine blade l(eft: new blade, right: in-service blade).

Ray was also a pioneer in the standardization of the neutron radiography film method and the development of procedures (ASTM E545/E 748 / E803). And also he manufactured the Sensitive Indicator (SI) and the Beam Quality Indicator (BQI) of NR standard test specimen and distributed them to all NR users.

I am very sad because I can not see his passionate and academic looking anymore. I seem to hear a crow crying in the crow valley next to his office of Aerotest, mourning his death. And his achievements in the NR field will be shine like the sun of May in San Francisco where he worked for his lifetime. In September, WCNR-11's his vacancy in Sydney will be likely to be large.

My sympathies are with his wife Peggy and his son, Brain. I am deeply grateful to Mr. Tsukimura again who has become a deceased person for the much care to my experiment in Aerotest.

Dear Ray, Forever , Good- by, we wish that you would like to be peace in Heaven.

11th April 2018: In occasion of the first anniversary of Mr Ray’s farewell to the world

Cheul Muu Sim (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)





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