Fraunhofer researchers have developed a new inspection system that allows them to examine high-strength steels contact-free. They showcased the MAGNUS technique at the EuroBLECH 2014 trade fair in Hannover, October 21-25.
High-strength steels are in demand as construction materials to make cars and other devices progressively lighter and energy efficient. One popular technique is to employ high-strength steels – using these innovative materials, components can be designed to be slimmer and lighter without compromising on safety. But before the high-strength steels can be processed, their material properties need to be investigated. To do this, research scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing IZFP in Saarbrücken developed the MAGNUS hybrid inspection system. What is special about this system is that it combines micromagnetic and ultrasound techniques to characterize materials. “While the micromagnetic method helps us to determine properties such as hardness, tensile strength and internal stress, the ultrasound testing informs us about the texture of the material, a critical factor governing the material’s deformation characteristics during the deep drawing process,” explains Fraunhofer IZFP research scientist Dr. Klaus Szielasko, who is leading the MAGNUS project.
MAGNUS brings together scientists from Fraunhofer IZFP and their colleagues at the Technical Centre for Mechanical Industry CETIM in Senlis, one of the network of Carnot institutes. Together they have developed a tool that allows micromagnetic and ultrasound techniques to be employed alongside one another to characterize materials. “We placed particular emphasis on coming up with a cost-effective tool and sensor concept,” stresses Szielasko. Within the scope of industrial contracts, three systems for heavy plate inspection were already manufactured based on MAGNUS technology.