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The automotive and aerospace industry is today in need of automated non-destructive testing due to an increased demand for inspection of manufactured parts. One type of defect in metal structures, which is of serious concern, is surface breaking cracks. This type of defect is not easy to detect with all conventional methods, and the non-destructive testing methods that are used today are not easily automated for several reasons.

Thermography is a relatively novel method when it comes to detecting surface cracks and a method that has been studied in recent years, and has shown promising results, uses high intensity light to excite the defect. This method has several advantages when it comes to automation, including full frame and non-contact inspection. Since this method is new, it has not yet been thoroughly investigated and it is not known which parameters are the most important and how they should best be optimized. Furthermore, no studies have been performed in order to investigate the possibilities and limitations of the method.

The main research goal in this project is to study the mechanisms involved in this method and to determine the optimal parameters for the inspection methods. This will be done through modelling and simulations, as well as through experimental testing. The main research questions in this project are which parameters of the excitation source are the most important and how they affect the detectability and how the material properties and defect geometry affect the detectability of the defect.

Participating researcher:
Patrik Broberg

Collaborating partners:
GKN Aerospace
Termisk systemteknik
Gestamp HardTech

External funding from:
The Knowledge Foundation



Updated by Victoria Sjöstedt