|In automotive industry weight reduction is realized by concepts of light and
composite construction with bonded joints. For this purpose, non-destructive
testing (NDT) methods take a key role as because of their high sensitivity they
can be used in safety-relevant areas, e.g. in the joint area, where damage and
defects may lead to component malfunction. Especially such NDT methods are
requested that can easily be automated and at same time allow cost-efficient
inspection of components and assemblies.
Air-coupled ultrasound: An industrial robot linked to
an ultrasound inspection system scans the component.
© Uwe Bellhäuser
From 17 to 27 September 2015, at 66. IAA Pkw in Frankfurt, engineers of
Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrucken will introduce a procedure which enables
noncontact and contamination-free defect inspection even in case of strongly
absorbing hybrid materials (hall 4.0, booth D27).
Researchers at Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing IZFP in Saarbrucken
succeeded in enhancing the use of air-coupled ultrasound as a nondestructive
inspection method for noncontact and contamination-free materials inspection. “The
probes we developed at our institute to examine thin materials allow higher frequency
compared to competing products. Due to this improvement a highly sensitive and
optimized defect detection capability is achieved,” Dr. Thomas Waschkies, responsible
engineer at Fraunhofer IZFP, explains. “The improved probe design with its higher noise
allows the contamination-free examination even of strongly absorbing hybrid
Each inspection application comes with its specific requirements concerning
accessibility, defect resolution, robustness against environmental influences and special
probe type. That’s why Fraunhofer IZFP’s air-coupled ultrasound transducers are
custom-made for a particular application.
The air-coupled ultrasound inspection is particularly suitable for the examination of thin
plates with thicknesses of some few centimeters. However, in principle all materials
currently used in modern structural components, e. g., in automotive industry or
aircraft, can be examined. Often, these so-called ‘new materials’, such as CFRP, GFRP,
high-strength steels and light metals, are combined and processed to hybrid
components or parts.
For further information:
Dr.-Ing. Thomas Waschkies | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfverfahren IZFP | Phone +49 681
9302-3637 | Campus E3.1 | 66123 Saarbrücken | www.izfp.fraunhofer.de |