|Nondestructive material testing (NDT) is a fast and effective way to
analyze the quality of a product during the manufacturing process.
Because defective materials can lead to malfunctioning finished
products, NDT is an essential quality assurance measure, especially in
the manufacture of safety-critical components such as automotive Bpillars.
NDT examines the quality without damaging the component or
modifying the surface of the material. At this year's Blechexpo trade
fair in Stuttgart, Fraunhofer IZFP will have an exhibit that demonstrates
the nondestructive testing of high-strength automotive body parts
using 3MA. The measurement results are available in a matter of
To minimize vehicle weight and fuel consumption while providing the highest level of
crash safety, automotive bodies are reinforced with elements made from high-strength
steel. Automotive manufacturers and suppliers are relying more and more on so-called
hot stamping or press hardened processes to produce these components. Fraunhofer
IZFP has developed a fast and low-cost 3MA nondestructive testing technique that can
be used to monitor and control the corresponding manufacturing processes. "Timeconsuming
destructive testing methods result in enormous quality assurance costs,
because among things the product is destroyed in the process. And since it's only
possible to carry out spot checks, problems with the manufacturing process are often
detected only after a significant number of rejects are generated," says Dr. Bernd
Wolter, head of the Production-integrated NDT department at Fraunhofer IZFP. Suitable
nondestructive testing processes offer an alternative that over the long term can be
adapted and utilized as a replacement for destructive methods.
Reliable in-line 3MA inspection results within seconds.
© Uwe Bellhäuser
The 3MA inspection technology developed by Fraunhofer IZFP is well-suited for
measuring positions that cannot be inspected with destructive processes, such as when
there is simply no space to carry out the measurements (tension rods as an example).
"We can ensure 100 percent testability during the production process. That eliminates
the need for time-consuming spot checks. Our researchers and engineers developed
and certified this inspection method for use in high-volume automobile production
systems. This inline, nondestructive process can be automated, a feature that is clearly
to unique to Fraunhofer IZFP," emphasizes Wolter.
By combining four micro-magnetic inspection processes - harmonic analysis,
incremental permeability, Barkhausen noise analysis and multi-frequency eddy current -
this approach provides a fast and simple way to determine the quality of essential
mechanical properties such as hardness, tensile strength and diffusion layer thickness.
The exhibit will illustrate several specific capabilities related to the monitoring and
inspecting of manufacturing processes, press-hardened products, valve spring
production and rolled steel manufacture, with a focus on production processes in the
automobile, steel production and machine/plant engineering industries.
For further information:
Dr.-Ing. Bernd Wolter | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfverfahren IZFP | Phone +49 681 9302-
3883 | Campus E3.1 | 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany | www.izfp.fraunhofer.de |