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21 May 2014 Center crack detection during continuous casting of aluminum by laser ultrasonic measurements
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Crack detection during continuous direct chill casting of aluminum is a matter of economics. Determining cracks during production process saves money, energy and raw material. Of course, a non-destructive method is required for this evaluation. Because of temperature concerns conventional ultrasound is not applicable. One non-contact alternative is laser ultrasonics. In laser ultrasonics short laser pulses illuminate the sample. The electromagnetic energy gets absorbed at the surface of the sample and results in local heating followed by expansion. Thereby broadband ultrasonic waves are launched which propagate through the sample and get back reflected or scattered at interfaces (cracks, blowholes,…) like conventional ultrasonic waves. Therefore laser ultrasonics is an alternative thermal infrared technology. By using an interferometer also the detection of the ultrasonic waves at the sample surface is done in a remote manner. During preliminary examinations in the lab by scanning different aluminum studs it was able to distinguish between studs with and without cracks. The prediction of the dimension of the crack by evaluation of the damping of the broadband ultrasonic waves was possible. With simple image reconstruction methods one can localize the crack and give an estimation of its extent and even its shape. Subsequent first measurements using this laser ultrasonic setup during the continuous casting of aluminum were carried out and showed the proof of principle in an industrial environment with elevated temperatures, dust, cooling water and vibrations.
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Hubert Grün, Thomas Mitter, Jürgen Roither, Andreas Betz, Salar Bozorgi, and Peter Burgholzer "Center crack detection during continuous casting of aluminum by laser ultrasonic measurements", Proc. SPIE 9105, Thermosense: Thermal Infrared Applications XXXVI, 91050A (21 May 2014);

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