A comparison study on different NDT techniques used for testing bond quality in cold roll bonded AlSn alloy/steel bimetal strips

Philipp Johannes Tallafuss, Andrzej Rosochowski, Sylvia Campbell

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This paper presents non-destructive testing (NDT) results for the detection of bond defects in aluminium-tin (Al-Sn) alloy/steel bimetal strips. Among all types of bimetal strip that are used in the automotive industry for plain journal engine bearings, Al-Sn alloys cold roll bonded (CRB) onto steel backing is the most common type. The difficulty to evaluate the metallurgical bond between the two dissimilar metals is a major industrial concern, which comprises the risk that bearings fail in the field. Considering the harsh performance requirements, one hundred percent online non-destructive testing would be desirable to significantly reduce the business risk. Nowadays bimetal strip manufacturers still rely on destructive testing through different peel-off tests. This work offers the results from four independent NDT studies, using active thermography, shearography, ultrasound and guided wave EMATs and samples with different artificially implanted defects, to explore the feasibility to qualitatively indicate the occurrence of bond defects. A destructive peel off test was used to correlate the NDT results with known bond quality. The studies were done under laboratory conditions, and in case of ultrasound also online under production conditions. During the ultrasound online test, the requirements that a NDT technique has to fulfil for online inspection of Al-Sn alloy/steel bimetal strip were established. For active thermography, shearography and guided wave EMAT techniques, it was theoretically analysed, if the laboratory test results could be transferred to testing under production conditions. As a result, guided waves using EMATs, among the four tested methods, are best suited for online inspection of Al-Sn alloy/steel bimetal strip inspection. This research was carried out in collaboration with MAHLE Engine Systems UK Ltd., an Al-Sn alloy/steel bimetal strip manufacturer for the automotive industry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalManufacturing Review
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2017



  • cold roll bonding
  • non-destructive testing
  • bond defects
  • bimetal strips
  • alloys
  • aluminum
  • tin
  • steel

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