Semifinished Products

Typically, semifinished products are made of a single primary material brought into a geometric shape, often in form of simple profiles, rods, pipes and sheets made of metal, plastics or wood. "Semifinished" as they are they belong to the first and middle parts of a product's value added chain, being major elements of a cost effective and efficient production.

In most cases, the design - in terms of shape and dimensions -  of semifineshed products is up to the later product. This is true for material and surface properties too, which are often optimized for specific applications and production methods.

Fraunhofer IZFP's "semifinied products" business unit is tieing the related activities of the institute.




Sensor System to Detect Cracks and Neckings in Formed Sheets

Tailored Blanks inspection with Fraunhofer IZFP´s EMAT sensor
© Fraunhofer IZFP
Tailored Blanks inspection with Fraunhofer IZFP´s EMAT sensor

Requirements on components and processes in the sheet metal forming sector are steadily rising. This applies in particular to the automotive industry as the largest manufacturer and buyer of formed sheet metal parts. Due to lightweight construction concepts, many forming processes are increasingly being pushed to their limits. Because of growing processing complexity, high forming degrees with ever smaller sheet thicknesses, batch fluctuations of the materials as well as uncertainties in the tool / machine system, it is unavoidable that these process limits are sporadically exceeded.

As a consequence of such influencing factors, forming-related component defects that are difficult to identify cannot be avoided completely. This includes cracked areas (cracks) in the sheet, but also local thinnings of the sheet thickness (neckings). While gaping cracks above a certain size can be reliably detected with optical methods, so far there was no method for the reliable detection of closed or small cracks and in particular of neckings.

A comparative study showed that the so-called EMAT inspection technique (electromagnetic acoustic transducer) is the most appropriate method for the production-integrated detection of cracks and neckings in sheet metal components. Ultrasonic probes based on EMAT can be used dry, i.e. without coupling agents and generally without contact.

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3MA-X8: Fast Characterization of Micromagnetic Materials

© Fraunhofer IZFP
3MA-X8: Three channels, assortment of sensors, plus control and evaluation PC

Determination of hardness, case depth, tensile strength, yield strength, breaking elongation, residual and load stresses

Test for mixed-up components

Determination of dross in cast materials

Area scans with up to 8 sensors and concurrent detection of local material property deviations

Inspection of assemblies and components parallel at several positions

In-line real-time measurements in production processes

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EMAT: Defect Inspection using Electromagnetic Ultrasound Technology

© tomas - Fotolia

Contactless ultrasound inspection without couplants

Real-time capable; can be automated for in-line inspections.

Industrial-scale, robust design leads to long service life without visible wear and tear

Cold and warm sheet metal forming

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