|To compete in the international iron manufacturing market, the
capability to efficiently produce large-scale casting parts while
conserving resources is becoming increasingly essential. Particularly
with wind power systems, the dross* found in large cast iron
components with nodular graphite (GJS) can increase manufacturing,
personnel and energy costs. These components must frequently be reworked
using extremely time-consuming manual processes.|
Manufacturers of cast components (wind power turbines and ship engines for
instance) are all too aware of the problem with dross, an issue that has not
been resolved to date. A research project involving renowned industry partners
has finally opened up the possibility of examining large casting components
with dross defects in a targeted fashion and developing ways to turn dross into
usable parts, keep the re-work to a minimum and in particular avoid the
scrapping of defective components, something which is a major benefit to
manufacturers and users.
For more than 40 years, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for
Nondestructive Testing IZFP have been involved in the development and
enhancement of innovative nondestructive testing (NDT) methods for every
conceivable industry. Whether it`s cracks, delamination, material damage or
material changes, these defects may frequently be invisible to the human eye,
but not to the nondestructive testing experts at Fraunhofer IZFP.
To date, the research industry has had little involvement in the problem of
dross since these components are either re-worked or declared as rejects.
“Research has shown that several nondestructive testing processes possess
excellent potential in more accurately identifying and characterizing these
impurities. Our part in the unverDROSSen research project involves further
developing existing NDT processes and where applicable to transfer newly
developed processes into practical application,“ explains Dr. Jochen Kurz head
of the Materials Characterization department at Fraunhofer IZFP. Working
closely together with Fraunhofer IZFP is the Fraunhofer Institute for Structural
Durability and System Reliability LBF, which is examining the issue of structural
* Dross describes impurities caused by oxidation that form on the surface of molten metals.
Components that exhibit these types of structural defects are frequently rejected during the
construction of wind power systems
The unverDROSSen** project is being sponsored by the German Federal
Ministry of Education and Research through its Jülich project management
organization. Under the project leadership of Fraunhofer LBF and with the
participation of renowned industry and association partners, the primary aim is
to transfer the results of the research into practical applications for industry.
The project is slated for completion by the end of 2017.
** (a German word that means thorough, with painstaking care)
GJS-based cast parts are important
components in the construction of engines
and engine housings.
“Turret of the Südkronsberg wind power turbine from below“
©: Axel Hindemith / Wikimedia Commons
For further information:
Dr.-Ing. Jochen Kurz | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfverfahren IZFP | Phone +49 681 9302-
3880 | Campus E3.1 | 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany | www.izfp.fraunhofer.de |
Dipl.-Ing. Christoph Bleicher | Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF |
Phone +49 6151 705-8359 | Bartningstr. 47 | 64289 Darmstadt, Germany | www.lbf.fraunhofer.de |