NON-DESTRUCTIVE INSPECTION BY INFRARED THERMOGRAPHY OF RESISTANCE SPOT WELDS USED IN AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY

Lucie Forejtová, Tomáš Zavadil, Ladislav Kolařík, Marie Kolaříková, Jan Sova, Petr Vávra

Abstract


Resistance spot welding (RSW) is one of the main joining technologies of thin sheets in the automotive industry. Key factors affecting the strength of the RSW joint are the nugget diameter, asymmetry, expulsions, intended surfaces, and the presence of cracks. Despite its broad use, the RSW joint quality verification is limited only to destructive testing and a limited number of non-destructive testing (NDT) methods. Most of the testing is done destructively by sampling, which assesses only systematic defects. Ultrasonic Testing (UT) is the most used NDT method to detect non-systematic defects in the RSW joints, however the probability of the defect detection of conventional testing techniques is not fully satisfactory. Other approaches were invented to deal with this situation. The article uses the currently most used NDT approach of the UT testing as a benchmark to evaluate the ability of thermographic testing to detect defective welds of the resistance spot welding in an on-line mode. The article demonstrates that the infrared thermography may find systematic process errors that are not detectable by other NDT methods by an analysis of different temperature drops measured after a constant delay time caused by different cooling dynamics of satisfactory and non-satisfactory weld joints.

Keywords


automotive, resistance spot welding, thermography, ultrasonic testing, probability of detection

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ISSN 1210-2709 (Print)
ISSN 1805-2363 (Online)
Published by the Czech Technical University in Prague