Non-destructive testing for defects

Non-destructive testing for defects

Imperfection Detection: Detect Me If You Can

Open Date: March 4, 2021

Close Date: Submissions due July 20, 2021 5:00 PM ET (CLOSED)

Total Prize: $380,000 in total prizes

Learn more about the competition and Phase 1 Finalists >>


The Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) are seeking a portable tool or system for in situ (field) inspection of fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite structures that can identify defects or damage accumulated during field service. FRP composite materials are used for a variety of federal civil infrastructure applications, including pipelines, gates, valves, and other specialized infrastructure components, where their corrosion resistance, reduced weight, and other tailorable properties provide a unique advantage.

Methods to evaluate concrete and steel infrastructure for defects and damage are well established. However, composite structures contain a complex matrix of resin and fiber, requiring sophisticated evaluation techniques. This challenge seeks to advance the field inspection tools available for non-destructive evaluation of water storage, control, and delivery structures made from FRP composite materials.

Along with USACE, Reclamation is partnering with Clemson Composites Center, Jesse Garant Metrology, Thompson Pipe Group, NASA Tournament Labs and HeroX on this competition

Please visit to learn more about the competition and the finalists.

Related Documents
03/2021 Reclamation launches prize competition to better field evaluate composite structures
09/2021 Reclamation announces five winning submissions to share $200,000 in Imperfection Detection Challenge
04/2023 Reclamation advances Team Permittivity to Phase 3 in Imperfection Detection prize competition

Last Updated: 8/25/23