Analysis of static or dynamic properties of materials

Materials form the basis of all types of components and component production systems. The raw materials processing industry supplies other industry segments with materials in the form of semi-finished products, mostly sheet metal, plates, films, wire and rod materials, in addition to powders and pellets. Casting moulds are also supplied. The precision, purity and uniformity of the material composition are crucial for these manufacturing industries. In addition, microstructures and mechanical properties are key factors in how well the materials can be processed in subsequent steps. Given the impact of globalization and digitalization on manufacturing, and in light of advanced production processes that include tightly-toleranced material properties, identifying materials and tracing their origin is becoming an increasingly important task.

Material-producing industries therefore need nondestructive sensors for monitoring and documenting product quality.


Development focus

The determination of the mechanical-technological parameters and the detection of discontinuities, as well as the description of their effects on the further processing, are frequent tasks in this area. From a measurement point of view, while many trade forms of materials have favorable, simple geometries, the still frequently unfinished surfaces and harsh operating conditions (heat or dust in the steelmaking industry) present challenges for carrying out measurements. In these environments, robust magnetic test methods and non-contact procedures based on ultrasound, thermography and microhertz/terahertz waves offer advantages.

Apart from material characterization, material identification is also of interest. This process combines intelligent hybrid sensor technology, machine learning algorithms, and fast databases to identify the material's highly-complex, multi-parametric fingerprint and source. This is also of interest in identifying and recovering raw materials.



Materials Characterization, Properties, Identification

Ultrasound Sensors: Custom-made

Air-coupled ultrasound array sensor
© Fraunhofer IZFP
Air-coupled ultrasound array sensor

The Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken develops and manufactures ultrasound sensors for diverse applications. The Institute has developed, among others, ultrasound sensors for the Rosetta mission, which launched on 2 March 2004 and landed on the cometary surface in November 2014.

Typically, however, we develop ultrasound sensors for material and component testing, as well as for condition monitoring over the entire product lifecycle from raw material to recycling.


Air-Coupled Ultrasound Inspection: Contactless and Contamination-Free Materials Characterization

© Fraunhofer IZFP / Uwe Bellhäuser
Air-coupled ultrasound inspection of advanced materials

The structural components used in modern automobiles and aircraft manufacturing are subject to stringent requirements, such as having a lightweight, yet mechanically robust design. Among other things, this ensures structures with improved crash behavior and excellent vibration and sound damping properties. Adhering to such demanding specifications requires the use of innovative materials like carbon or glass fiber reinforced polymer, high-strength steel and lightweight metals, which are often combined into hybrid components.

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3MA-X8: Fast Materials Characterization

© 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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SeedInspector: Automated Series Inspection for Small-Batch Production by CT Scanner

Reconstructs and processes image data volumes in real-time

Integrated quality monitoring (for unattended, overnight operation)

Flexible design permits additional analyses for other types of seeds and objects based on dimensions and geometric resolution

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EMUS: 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 (i.e. auto body parts)

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inspECT: Multi-Channel Multifrequency Eddy Current Inspection Electronics

© Fraunhofer IZFP

Mobile eddy current testing system realized inside a rugged industrial notebook with IP65 protection class

OEM kit: Comprising inspECT board, backplane, power supply, coordinate ­interface and multi­plexer for integration in customer systems

Integration of any customer-adapted inspection electronics into customer systems

Single or multifrequency operation with up to 16 testing frequencies from 100 Hz up to 10 MHz

High-performance hardware enables signal processing in real-time already on the ­inspECT board

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MAGNUS: Hybrid Micromagnetic and Ultrasonic Test System

© Fraunhofer IZFP / Uwe Bellhäuser
MAGNUS setup

Smart combination of micromagnetic materials characterization and electromagnetic ultrasound transduction

Demonstrator set up and testing in industrial-like environments

The MAGNUS project is jointly funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research and the French National Research Agency through the Fraunhofer Carnot program, an alliance with the “Centre Technique des Industries Mécaniques” CETIM in Senlis, France.

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