Patrik Broberg, Experimental Mechanics, Luleå University of Technology.

Better with automated inspection of welds

Published: 26 June 2014

To automatically inspect welds is faster, cheaper and more reliable than manual inspection. Patrik Broberg, Luleå University of Technology, presents in his thesis how the methods of ultrasound and thermography can be used to automatically detect and classify defects in welding.

Analys of data signals

– I've done some experiments with both ultrasound and thermography to detect internal defects, but the work was mainly focused on how to best analyze the data signals you get with these methods, says Patrik Broberg at the research subject Experimental Mechanics, Luleå University of Technology.

It is the material of the weld joint after the pieces have been welded together that is being inspected. The weld is the material that has melted and the material around affected by the heat. The goal of Patriks' research was to automatically inspect welds, including automatic analysis of the signal. In his thesis, Patrik Broberg has come a long way towards that goal.

– I have developed a method to improve the resolution of the signal, and then analyzed the signal in order to get more information, such as size and position of the defect, than would normally be available. I have also developed a new thermal imaging method for detecting surface cracks, says Patrik Broberg.

Automation provides benefits

– The advantage of a fully automated system is that you can inspect a larger number of welds and ensure that they meet the requirements that are set. An automated system may also be faster, cheaper and more reliable as compared to a manual system.

Patrik Broberg has during the time for his research mainly worked at University West. He has been involved in several projects with various funding bodies, including KK-stiftelsen, the EU's Seventh Framework Programme, Vinnova and University West.