Osaka researchers discover ultrasonic quality control method

Osaka University Scientists Reveal Ultrasonic Control Process

As 3D printing companies are coming to accept more and more the flexibility of 3D printing products and components, they also have to overcome the restrictions that come with maintaining quality control. Scientists from Osaka University Japan have discovered a solution that enables companies to attain high complex 3D printed products,

while conserving high-caliber consistency in the print process.

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The study revealed the potential to implement a real-time defect detection system.

In an academic study published in Ultrasonics, scientists from Osaka University used laser sonics to detect what they termed fine-scale defects below the surface of 3D-printed metal assemblies.

The study led to the discovery of a unique quality control technology that applies to all sectors of the 3D printing industry.
In conventional manufacturing or subtractive manufacturing, Quality control is conducted at each step of the process.

However, Quality control checks become harder when rapidly constructing a complex product or prototype.

” It is often difficult using laser-generated ultrasonic echoes for pinpointing subsurface defects in 3D printed devices,” says the lead author of the study Takahiro Hayashi.

“We were able to generate ultrasonic waves in the megahertz range to unearth small defects that are hard to image.”

3D Printing Quality Control

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Photo credit: Osaka University

Within additive manufacturing and layer-by-layer, assembly comes the hurdle of detecting internal defects, without harming the product- This is exactly what the researchers at Osaka University examined in their study.
The scientists developed artificial defects in a 3D printed part to conduct their analysis.

The first thing they did was to fabricate an aluminium plate that had a millimetre scale hole drilled into it.
After that a thin defect-free aluminium plate was placed on top.

The unit was scanned with a laser across the surface resulting in ultrasonic vibrations from the aluminium.

Mathematical processing of said vibrations created a graphical readout that illustrated where the defect was located as well as the scope of the internal defect.

The outcome of the study reveals the possibility of implementing a large-scale defect detection system,

It would ensure the real-time repair of parts as they are being 3D printed.

This would be favourable for 3D printing complex parts from an economic perspective.

Source: Eureka alert

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