Nondestructive characterization of laser powder bed fusion components using high-frequency phased array ultrasonic testing

September 15, 2021

Farhang Honarvar (1,2), Sagar Patel (3), Mihaela Vlasea (3), Hossein Amini (4), Ahmad Varvani-Farahani (1)
Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance, 30, September 2021: 6766–6776. DOI: 10.1007/s11665-021-05988-7


additive manufacturing; aluminum alloy; computed tomography; laser powder bed fusion; nondestructive evaluation; ultrasonic testing


The use of metal additive manufacturing (AM) technologies is growing rapidly in many industries owing to their ability to produce complex designs, to light-weight critical components, and to consolidate assemblies. Laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) is a metal AM technology that offers finer feature resolution when compared with other metal AM technologies, with ongoing challenges in controlling the process to guarantee defect-free parts. Manufacturing of end-use products via LPBF with a high degree of internal feature design complexity results in an increased demand for demonstrating the performance of various nondestructive evaluation (NDE) tools. In this work, the use of high-frequency (50 MHz) phased array ultrasonic testing (PAUT) for the nondestructive evaluation of a cubic AlSi10Mg sample manufactured by the LPBF process is demonstrated. Artificial internal features with various sizes and shapes are implanted into this sample. The sample is tested offline by high-frequency PAUT from different directions and the position and shape of defects are evaluated. The sample is then subjected to X-ray computed tomography (XCT) and the results are compared with those obtained by ultrasonic testing. Very good agreement is observed between PAUT and XCT results and defects with dimensions as small as 0.75 mm are successfully identified.

How Our Software Was Used

Dragonfly was used to analyze CT images to visualize the defect space within the sample.

Author Affiliation

(1) Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON M5B 2K3, Canada.
(2) Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, K. N. Toosi University of Technology, 7 Pardis St., Mollasadra Ave., Vanak Sq., Tehran, Iran.
(3) Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada.
(4) FUJIFILM VisualSonics Inc., 3080 Yonge Street, Suite 6100, Box 66, Toronto, ON M4N 3N1, Canada.