Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Sound waves diagnose metal fatigue

Materials, particularly metals, when subjected to overuse great strain or stress become weakened. This phenomenon of metal fatigue is one of the main causes for many hardware failures. The development of a new device offers reliable and accurate diagnosis of metal fatigue during the entire operation life cycle of the hardware.
Sound waves diagnose metal fatigue
The efficient operation of most mechanical systems is highly dependent on the health status of their components. A prolonged stress on metal components normally triggers their weakening or failure, which results in the sudden fracture of the component. Subsequently, the timely and accurate diagnosis of these metal fatigue phenomena is important for the safe operation of most hardware and designs.

A new device developed by a Russian Polytechnic Institution enables the monitoring of hardware operation for detection of metal fatigue. This is accomplished by receiving and analysing sound waves, whose attenuation parameters are directly related to fatigue performances of metal structures. The device's operation is very well grounded on highly reliable established data sets that concern quantified relationships of these parameters with the various levels of metal fatigue.

This device very accurately and precisely estimates the residual resource (safe life) operation of hardware and designs. Moreover, its diagnostic capability could also be used for the safe life operation of bulky items, including in-the-field applications. Most importantly, it could provide early detection of metal fatigue before metal failure develops. Hence, it contributes to avoiding emergencies for corrective maintenance with all the economic savings and safety benefits involved.

This value-adding tool is easy-to-operate and powerful in data processing. It is designed for many applications in the fields of petroleum production, chemical industry and heat and power engineering. Other application areas can be found in the fields of the automobile, railway and aircraft as well as construction industries.
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