Innovative inspection techniques for laser powder deposition quality control

The INTRAPID project is a collaboration between European SME’s and research organisations. It aims to develop three non-destructive testing (NDT) techniques for inspection of parts and components manufactured by additive manufacturing processes, in particular laser metal deposition (LMD).

LMD is a technology that has been maturing over the last 20 years and has found application in repair, coatings, hybrid build and 3D near net shape manufacture of small intricate parts that can be used in aero and automobile engines to improve efficiency. Currently this technology cannot be used to supply some of these parts because absence of flaws that might be left in the component during manufacture cannot be guaranteed.

The three NDT techniques (laser ultrasonics, Eddy currents and laser thermography) have been chosen in INTRAPID because each has a small inspection area. It is expected that each will have limitations or find a niche in the variety of shapes and materials that will be eventually be used for the components.