Why don’t other carbon bike repairers use ultrasound?
One answer is cost however it is a little more complex than that.
To get set up with Ultrasound scanning equipment is expensive with a basic unit costing about $10 000. The prices go up from there with fully automated robotic systems costing up to $5 million. For aerospace repairs we use a portable unit with a typical cost of about $15 000 including the probes which cost about $1500 each. So as you can see from the numbers not many repair shops could afford such specialist equipment.
The main answer to this question however is the level of training and experience required.
The training required to use this equipment is very time consuming and expensive. It takes a typical aerospace technician many years of training to be certified in this inspection method. Experience is everything in this field, and that takes time to acquire, experience working with carbon composite and knowing the engineering involved with the part that is being inspected.
Most people are familiar with medical ultrasound scans, these differ significantly from the type of scans typically used on a carbon bike. Just like you go to a specialist medical technician if you need a scan on your body, you should go to a specialist carbon composite technician for your bike scan.
So as you can imagine it is not a simple process of buying a cheap unit and scanning parts, it takes years of training and specific knowledge to understand what the output signal is indicating.
Because we have this experience and equipment we are able to find damage that would not be found by any other methods, we can find the "undetectable" damage that others repairers don't know even exists. It isn't possible to repair damage when you don't know where it is!
This puts us at a significant advantage when it comes to accurately assessing if your bike is safe to ride or not.