Fast ultrasonic imaging systems for optimisation of adhesive bonding in-process
This is a joint project with Professor Richard Challis at Nottingham University and Dr Bruce Drinkwater at Bristol University. It aims to implement ultrasonic inspection techniques for adhesive joints which have been developed in the laboratory into an automated production environment, the initial installation being in an automotive plant. The project involves the development of an integrated package of ultrasound test techniques to run on new instrumentation in order to evaluate adhered joints using (i) low frequency through-bond resonance, (ii) high frequency pulse-echo, and (iii) Lamb waves excited and received remotely from the joint. An integral part of the project is the development of transducers which will enable the ultrasonic test to be carried out without couplant. Previous work has led to the development of a rubber-coupled wheel probe which gives excellent performance over the frequency range 1-8 MHz; this project aims to extend the range to both lower (down to 100 kHz) and higher (up to 15 MHz) frequencies, and to enable scanning at non-normal incidence.