Precision tubes for the automotive industry must meet the highest performance requirements. MAC’s® Eddy Current, Flux Leakage and Ultrasonic systems are often used to inspect tubes destined to be cut into short lengths to be fabricated into a critical automotive component.
- MAC’s innovative solutions can operate right on the production line or in an off-line setting to identify defects of critical automotive components. Some examples of automotive components are shock absorber tubes, strut tubes, propeller shafts, fuel injection lines, brake lines, etc. These end use applications can be quite demanding and may require multiple test methods to be applied to the tubes to insure that they can meet the quality requirements of the end use.
- Flaws that can be detected include weld defects, internal and external cracks, slivers, incomplete welds, penetrators and weld porosity.
- As an example, MAC’s Longitudinal Rotoflux® system can inspect electric resistance welding (ERW), normalized, cold-worked and straightened carbon steel tubes used for automotive suspension structures and cross members with geometrical variances in the wall thickness.
The Right Testing Combination:
MAC experts can recommend the proper test method, or combination of methods, based upon the capabilities and limitations of a specific NDT technology. Other factors include the metallurgical character of the product, diameter, wall thickness, tube condition, and throughput speed of the product under test. The point at which the test is applied in the manufacturing cycle also influences the choice of method and apparatus.
- Generally, Eddy Current is the preferred method to detect small, short, incomplete welds, and some subsurface cracks in carbon steel or non-ferrous tube that require high throughput speeds. Eddy Current method can detect most detrimental inside diameter surface defects in thin wall tubes.
- Ultrasonic test systems are recommended for full body tests, including the detection of long, continuous defects such as incomplete seam welds in tube, and inclusions, voids or cavities.
- Flux leakage systems are also available to accurately detect longitudinal and transverse surface defects on the OD and ID of heavy-wall ferritic or martensitic tubing.