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3D contour and strain mapping for non-destructive evaluation of engineering components

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Red light for manufacturing defects

Advanced non-destructive testing techniques have been developed for inspecting complex engineering parts. Detecting flaws in critical components could reduce catastrophic failures and potentially save lives.

Industrial Technologies

The ever-increasing requirements of product quality and reliability demand more efficient measuring and testing methods. Meeting these demands was the objective of the EU-funded '3D contour and strain mapping for non-destructive evaluation of engineering components' (Strainmap) project. The project aimed to develop a kit for measurement and inspection of engineering components, including optical three-dimensional (3D) contour and strain mapping techniques for non-destructive testing (NDT) and structural integrity assessment. Partners developed novel methods and algorithms to address difficulties in measuring the deformation of complicated microstructures and improved capabilities for detecting defects in components made of metal, composites and polymeric materials. In addition, a remote system was devised for defect detection in harmful environments such as radiation. A novel digital image processing system led to an improvement in measurement accuracy over conventional approaches. Another Strainmap success was a good demonstration of a new optical set up for obtaining 3D contour maps of surfaces with dynamic deformation. The technique can be applied to 3D shape measurement of objects under dynamic deformation with a large dimensional range - from the macro- to the micro-scale. In addition, a system for fast NDT and residual stress analysis of transparent material was developed. Certain types of defects in glass articles, such as bubbles, scratches and impurities, can be seen with this new system. It also has potential for analysing residual stress in transparent materials. A patent application for this technique is currently under consideration.

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