Metal components printed on3D printers are increasingly used in sophisticated technology like cars and even airplanes. Even a small defect in the details can cause a catastrophe with human victims, so manufacturers must carefully check their structure for integrity before installation. Usually, ultrasound is used to check the internal cavities, however, in the case of printed parts, this causes difficulties, and the parts must be frozen in water.
The fact is that 3D printers cause moltenmetal layer by layer, so check the parts for defects only after their complete manufacture. With components made of a single piece of metal, the process is much faster - cracks and other damage can be detected with the help of ultrasound, the waves of which bounce off any irregularities.
Because of the layered structure, 3D-printed partshave many external irregularities that prevent ultrasonic waves from detecting internal defects. To avoid this, the part must be immersed in a vessel with a material with a density similar to metal. Thus, sound waves freely pass through both the material and metal, perfectly recognizing the irregularities inside the part.
According to Francesco Simonetti, Professoraerospace technology at the University of Cincinnati, the material to facilitate the scanning of parts can serve as ordinary ice. It is important that it does not have cracks and air bubbles - so that they do not exist, the researcher froze the water from the bottom up, while it was mixed using a special apparatus.
As expected, ice density wasenough to hide the external irregularities of the part and allow ultrasound to its internal cavity. It is believed that the properties of ice can be significantly improved by adding nanoparticles to it, which increase the weight and density.
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