Ultrasound

Air-coupled ultrasound inspection: Contactless, contamination-free materials characterization; Copyright Foto: Uwe Bellhäuser

Ultrasound

Ultrasonic inspection with its various techniques has long been a central procedure of nondestructive testing and thus an essential element of many quality assurance measures. In most if not all sections of the product lifecycle - but particularly for ​​production processes - it provides established methods with versatile possibilities to guarantee the safety of the manufactured products.

By the rise of novel materials such as fiber-reinforced plastics, high-strength steels and light metals, which are used alone or in combination in hybrid components and as composite materials, the requirements for ultrasound inspection have significantly increased over the last decade. These material-related challenges are intensified by increasingly complex component geometries, the need for high-resolution defect detection or the realization of faster inspection speed. All this can be taken into account with the methods provided at Fraunhofer IZFP. The areas of material characterization, component / assembly inspection and condition monitoring are the focus of our attention.

The institute has a wide range of application-oriented techniques, competences and know-how at its disposal. This comprises, among other things, the construction of specially adapted ultrasound transducers and inspection systems including hardware and software development as well as the execution of qualifying manual and robot-based ultrasound tests to meet customer-specific requirements.

In addition, Fraunhofer IZFP counsels its customers in the preparation of specific inspection instructions and supports the execution and the evaluation of inspections.

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

© Photo 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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High-Frequency Ultrasonic Technology: Optimizing the Quality of Laser Welding Seams (Presshardened Steels)

© Photo Fraunhofer IZFP

3d profile of a laser beam welding seam

Integration of the HF-ultrasonic inspection technology for a fast, efficient monitoring, documentation and optimization of the laser welding quality

Validation for determining all of the relevant quality characteristics (welding seam profile, existence and position of defects, etc.)

Detection of typical defects such as “false friends“, “seam collapse“ and “blow out“ as well as pores with a minimum diameter of approx. 0.2 millimeters

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EMUS: Defect Inspection using Electromagnetic Ultrasound Technology

© Photo tomas - Fotolia

Pipeline

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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Hardware and Software Components of the Ultrasonic Inspection System RAWIS: Production-Integrated Inspection of Railroad Wheels

© Photo Rosen Group

RAWIS Inspection System

High resolution at concurrently high inspection velocity by use of phased array technique and hardware-near data processing

Fully automated hundred percent inspection of wheel rim and wheel hub within a single turn of the wheel

Use of smart evaluation algorithms for automated assessment of the inspection results

Modular system design for use in maintenance inspections at low modification time and effort

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Surface Hardening Depth (SHD): Nondestructive Inspection of Inductively Hardened Parts and Components Using Ultrasonic Backscattering

© Photo Fraunhofer IZFP

Crank shaft inspection using SHD sensor

Long-term experience with customized ultrasonic hardware and software

Fraunhofer IZFP designs and manufactures optimized ultrasonic electronics

Systems for automated and manual testing are available

No calibration of reference parts with defined hardness

Impartial, user-independent measurement technique

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MAGNUS: Hybrid Micromagnetic and Ultrasonic Test System

© Photo 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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UER III: System for Ultrasonic Stress Measurement in the Rim of Railroad Wheels

© Photo Fraunhofer IZFP / Uwe Bellhäuser

UER III: System for ultrasonic stress measurement in the rim of railroad wheels

Heavy/operational maintenance

Wheel production (according to DIN EN13262) / wheel development

Digital data transmission between manipulator and operating unit

New miniaturized in-house developed ultrasound electronics for manipulator frontend

Frontend solution in order to minimize electromagnetic interferences

Software with various options for documentation

3 alternative setups: Stationary pillar, stationary swivel arm, mobile workshop trolley

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