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Implementing an online bond quality inspection system for cold roll bonded Al/Al-Sn/Al/steel strips using guided wave EMATs

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A prototype online bond inspection system for Al/Al-Sn/Al/steel strips is introduced to detect bond defects that occur in the cold roll bonding (CRB) processing of strips. The transmitting and receiving electromagnetic acoustic transducer (EMAT) probes inspect 100% material volume while the strip is processed continuously. The inspection signals are processed in real time and stored for post-processing. Serial production strips with good bond as well as those with defects along the bond line were inspected for rigorous testing of the prototype machine. The inspection results were statistically analysed to determine an alarm threshold for serial inspection. The most important result is that the guided waves are sensitive enough to use practical non-destructive testing (NDT) with only a 0.5% false alarm rate to detect all bond defects, which nowadays can only be detected with a destructive peel-off test. Previously, the detection of all kinds of bond defects would have lead to unreasonable levels of scrap due to false alarms. The application of this prototype EMAT inspection system to an industrial strip processing line shows that online detection of significant defects in cold roll bonded Al/Al-Sn/Al/steel strips in a harsh serial production environment is possible. Improvements are proposed to address the issues that occurred during inspection trials and to aid in the design of a more robust mechanical machine for the industrialisation of an EMAT inspection system.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2018

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