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Automotive Industry

The Automotive industry is undergoing a significant transformation with advancements in build materials, manufacturing processes and power options, including electric and hybrid vehicles becoming commonplace. With future leaps in technology for electric and fuel cell technologies, the safety and reliability of these vehicles are of the highest importance.

Ultrasonic inspection (UT) plays a crucial role in ensuring safety and quality in the automotive industry; from body weld inspection to composite bonding validation, UT is used in all aspects of vehicle manufacture and maintenance. Some examples are given below.

1. Inspections

  • Welds: UT weld inspection detect hidden discontinuities.
  • Body panel thickness checks: UT thickness checks ensure body panels and critical structures are the correct minimum thickness.
  • Composite parts: UT checks ensure composite material for disbonding between ply's, pooling, porosity and other related discontinuities.
  • Adhesive bonds: UT checks the quality of ┬áthe bonding of glued joints.
  • Composite impact damage assessment: UT inspections of impact areas assess the integrity of a part.

Sonatest has specialised solutions for inspecting Automotive assets. The RSFlite, which is specifically designed for composite and large-area inspections, when paired with the Wheel Probe 2 scanner, allows large areas to be scanned quickly showing instant results and creating data packs that can be reviewed on UTMap, a software specifically designed for C-Scan data review.

The VEO3 is a multi-technique specialist system capable of performing phased array weld inspection and corrosion mapping, also included are TFM (Total Focusing Method), TFMi and TOFD (Time of Flight Diffraction) (Time of Flight Diffraction) inspection methods, each providing further inspection solutions to the inspector.

The Wave interactive flaw detector with its CAD import scan plan allows the visual representation of complex geometry parts, showing exactly where signals are originating from, making it easier to differentiate a geometric signal from a defect signal, reducing false calls and saving time and money in the process. 

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