Proof of Concept: Real-Time Integrated Weld Analyzer in Aluminum Spot Welds
Use of aluminum alloys in the automotive industry comes with huge manufacturing challenges such as instability of spot welding processes. To overcome this challenge, frequent selective quality tests are performed in industry usually by destructive means, which are labour intensive and costly due to its nature. Non-destructive testing (NDT) of aluminum spot welds can decrease these costs. This proposed spot welding NDT method will incorporate an ultrasonic probe in the welding electrode, which is fully automated and each spot weld tested at the moment of manufacture. The proposed inspection technique is able to reveal features such as exact moment of melting, amount of liquid metal penetration into each plate, thickness of weld pool and estimation of pool diameter. This research project will demonstrate the capability of the in-line inspection of resistance spot welds in aluminum alloys and develop a database of information relating welding parameters to weld quality.