Quality shines through – Cutting edge x-ray analysis and computer tomography (CT)
In recent years, X-ray computed tomography (CT) has been established as an inspection technique in a broad range of industry branches. The ability of a non-destructive inspection tremendously supports the quality of solid materials or industrial products, such as automotive parts, by providing comprehensive information about shape, dimensions, volumes, internal defects or the spatial distribution of inclusions or voids in 3D. Apart from its non-destructive nature, CT has emerged as a very fast and efficient technique, which can be included or added to in-line manufacturing or testing.
In the casting industry, a valuable application of CT imaging is the examination of dimensional accuracy of parts in combination with detection and quantification of potential cavitation (see racing wheel as example in the Figure below). Such type of wheels can be scanned in a few seconds (“fast CT”) resulting in digital volume data that provides accurate information on the wheel’s shape deviation and internal defects. Using special software, the obtained CT volume (1) is superimposed with the initial CAD model (2) finally resulting in a color-coded visualization of the wheel’s shape deviation (3). In addition, cavities (voids) are detected and quantified in numbers, exact positions, volumes and diameters (4). Such analytical sequences can run fully automated and can therefore be embedded in manufacturing chains of casting products. This approach enables controlling 100 % of the product line increasing the efficiency, lowering the costs and the numbers of defect parts and allows improvement to the manufacturing process immediately when quality is not assured.