Finally a system that is fast, user friendly, and accurate. This system has improved our company’s quality and productivity. SmartTest™ exceeds our expectations.”

NDT Supervisor
Automotive Industry Mexico

Acoustic Resonance Inspection Applications

Acoustic Resonance Inspection (ARI) is unique among the more common non-destructive testing (NDT) methods due to its universality. The Resonant Acoustic Method can evaluate any rigid component and detect both internal and external flaws related to either the material properties of the component or properties related to its manufacturing process. Acoustic Resonance Inspection evaluates the entire part structure, unlike many other NDT methods that only evaluate specific areas on the part. No other NDT method matches that versatility, which is precisely why Advanced Material Solutions (AMS) makes SmartTest™ the focus of our business.

Sintered Metal

The challenges facing producers of precision PM and MIM parts are well-established. From the powder through cavity filling, pressing, debinding, sintering, and secondary processes, a wide variety of process variations occur. For the past 35 years, Acoustic Resonance Inspection has been successfully detecting flaws such as variances in the overall shape, weight, cracks, and density of parts. It also identifies missed process steps, such as machining, secondary operations, or heat-treating processes. It is well-suited to identifying manufacturing process variation.

Detectable Flaws

  • Cracks
  • Chips or missing material
  • Missing or malformed features
  • Dimensional variances
  • Material property variances
  • Lifting or blistering
  • Poor brazing or bonding
  • Mixed parts

Firearms

Firearms manufacturers work every day at the intersection of high-volume and safety-critical. The very nature of the components in these products means no structural defects can be allowed to enter assembly operations. A high-speed, high-volume inspection with SmartTest™ is an ideal way to identify and contain parts with cracks, voids, missing material, missing or incorrectly formed features, damaged or incomplete threads, density, or other material property variances.

Component Types

  • Mounts and casings
  • Hammer, trigger, firing pin, safety, and pins
  • Takedown lever, hook, gas block/tube, and extractors
  • Slide, slide catch, hinge pin, and magazine release
  • Barrel, bolt, handguard, muzzle devices, and sights

Ductile Iron

The load-bearing nature of ductile iron (DI) components only heightens the priority that has to be given to the detection of structural flaws. Acoustic Resonance Testing with SmartTest™ can protect DI manufacturers and the users of their parts from potential defect escape incidents that could cause great financial or reputational harm to the company and its customers. DI foundries throughout North America and around the world are successfully using SmartTest™ to future-proof their operations.

Detectable Flaws

  • Nodularity inspection
  • Cracks
  • Cold shuts
  • Porosity
  • Metallurgical defects
  • Shape defects
  • Short fill
  • Secondary process variances
  • NVH evaluation

Automotive

We always say that “100% non-destructive inspections make sense wherever high-volume and safety-critical intersect.” That perfectly describes the automotive applications in which we are frequently involved, where the consequences of a structural defect escape could not be more severe. For that reason, manufacturers need a high-volume inspection method that is effective, easy to implement, fast, and inexpensive to conduct. Acoustic Resonance Testing is well-suited to a myriad of automotive applications and is hugely effective in detecting structural flaws across a wide array of component types in many automotive subsystems.

Common Applications

  • Braking 
  • Steering 
  • Suspension 
  • Engine 
  • Driveline
  • Safety systems 
  • Thermal management systems 
  • Exhaust systems 
  • Fuel systems

Casting

We discussed DI casting above, but all other varieties of casting are nearly as compatible with resonant inspection. Low- and high-pressure die casting, sand casting, lost foam, and investment castings are all very good application fits for Resonant Acoustic Inspection. In fact, the more complicated the part geometry, the better the application fit. Material types range from iron to light metals to exotic metals. As light-weighting initiatives lead to ever-thinner walls and ever-more-challenging cast shapes, look to SmartTest™ to protect your components from structural defects.

Detectable Flaws

  • Cracks 
  • Cold shuts 
  • Porosity 
  • Metallurgical defects
  • Shape defects 
  • Short fill 
  • Secondary process variances 
  • NVH evaluation

Specialty Vehicles

Whether your company manufactures heavy trucks, buses, off-road work equipment, tractors, lawn and garden equipment, ambulances, side-by-side utility vehicles, or anything similar, a structural defect escape and the ensuing results could be catastrophic. Vehicle manufacturers need a high-volume inspection method that is effective yet fast, simple, and economical. Acoustic Resonance Testing is applicable in a myriad of specialty vehicle applications and is hugely effective in detecting structural flaws across a wide array of component types.

Common Applications

  • Braking 
  • Steering 
  • Suspension 
  • Engine 
  • Driveline
  • Safety Systems 
  • Thermal management systems 
  • Exhaust systems 
  • Fuel systems

Forging

Open die, closed die, drop forging, press forging, and hot and cold forming are all great application fits for Acoustic Resonance Testing. Components weighing as much as 100 pounds can be sufficiently excited for SmartTest™ to properly inspect them, regardless of whether the resulting part geometry is simple or complex.

Detectable Flaws

  • Cracks
  • Voids 
  • Seams
  • Laps
  • Double strikes 
  • Dimensional issues 
  • Trapped slugs

Medical Devices

Even in medical/surgical applications where parts are very small and complexity is very high, Acoustic Resonance Inspection with SmartTest™ is an ideal option. SmartTest™ accommodates even the most intricate shapes and works on parts weighing as little as 0.1 grams. The ability to confirm that both material properties and structural soundness are correct on a 100% basis ensures your product stream is free from defects that lead to unfavorable outcomes.

 

Common Applications

  • Surgical instruments
  • Medical device components
  • Orthopedic components and tools
  • Orthodontic and dental components
  • Hearing devices

Machining

There are as many machined part applications are there are grains of sand on the world’s beaches, so we won’t attempt to describe them all. In any rigid material, any machined component lighter than approximately 100 pounds is a great fit for Acoustic Resonance Inspection with SmartTest™. Whenever the application requires moderate to higher volumes and critical quality, Acoustic Resonance Inspections with SmartTest™ can add value.

Detectable Flaws

  • Cracks 
  • Dimensional variances 
  • Missing, incomplete, or damaged threads 
  • Material variances (hardness and microstructure)
  • Missing or incomplete processes 
  • Internal voids and porosity 
  • Metallurgical defects 
  • Mixed parts

Consumer Products

Products as diverse as hand and power tools, appliances, sporting goods, HVAC equipment, and a huge variety of others all have components that are safety-critical or essential to quality. There can be no compromises as to the structural integrity of these components, and an Acoustic Resonance Inspection with SmartTest™ is a very appropriate means to ensure that only conforming parts release into the manufacturing process.

Component Types

  • Sintered metal
  • Ductile iron
  • Other castings
  • Forgings
  • Machined parts
  • Draw-formed parts
  • Other stampings
  • Welded, brazed, or bonded structures
  • Fasteners
  • Glass and ceramics
  • Composites
  • Rigid plastics

Stamping/Forming

The sheer variety of stamped and draw-formed part shapes makes the idea of 100% flaw detection impractical if not impossible with most NDT methods. But for safety- or quality-critical components for which it’s mandatory that there be zero defects, manufacturers must find a solution. Within practical limits, SmartTest™ Acoustic Resonance Inspection easily detects structurally significant defects in most applications.

Detectable Flaws

  • Splits 
  • Tears 
  • Laminations
  • Necking
  • Crazing
  • Hot shortness
  • Inclusions 
  • Missing or malformed features 
  • Dimensional issues

Click to Enlarge

Applications Served for Acoustic Resonance Inspection

Partner With AMS for Reliable Testing and Quality Assurance

Acoustic Resonance Inspection is the optimal choice for applications in widespread industries, allowing manufacturers to prevent defective components from making their way into final products and systems. Using SmartTest™, a family of award-winning NDT Acoustic Resonance Inspection systems from AMS, will help quickly and reliably ensure product quality through efficient, cost-effective testing. For nearly 30 years, AMS has developed our core competencies of NDT inspections and structural flaw detection for safety-critical components. We’ve inspected millions of parts for clients in everything from aerospace to consumer products using the Acoustic Resonance Inspection method, as well as Ultrasonic, Electromagnetic, and visual inspections. To offer a comprehensive suite of services, our team also provides product sorting and rework, part cleaning, and packing. Should you wish to perform quality inspections on-site in your own facility, we also sell our SmartTest™ systems for your convenience. For more information on our high-volume, high-speed SmartTest™ systems or how AMS can support your business through trusted defect detection, contact us today.