Partnering opportunity

Non-destructive measuring method and instrument to gain information about the mechanical characteristics directly on the metal component

Summary

A mechatronic Italian small engineering company (NACE 72.1) developed an innovative non-destructive method and instrument to measure mechanical characteristics, directly on the component eliminating the need to laboratory tensile testing on a sample. It offers commercial agreements with technical assistance to measuring instruments distributors, and license agreement to manufacturers of metalworking machines, metal processing industries, G&Oil and chemical industries.

Partner sought

SME measuring instruments distributors, for distribution, marketing and assistance in EU countries (commercial agreement with technical assistance) SME companies that: - manufacture semi-finished metals obtained from foundry, moulding, extrusion; - manufacture equipments, machinery and large carpentry for building, chemical, gas&oil, energy industries; - offer engineering and industrial services of quality assurance and process control. These companies to test and implement the new measurement method for the quality control of final /semi-finished products (license agreement). Medium and big Chemical, Gas&Oil, Steel mills companies, to test and implement the new measurement method to monitoring the critical components reliability during the plants maintenance phase (license agreement).

Description

The applicant is an Engineering Italian company that design and develop mechatronics products and equipments. It is part of a medium-sized Group producing and selling industrial and health equipments on the global markets. QUALITY CONTROL PROBLEM TO SOLVE To guarantee quality, safety and reliability of metal material products, companies had to rely on destructive testing methods to obtain information about the mechanical properties of components. These tests, as the tensile test, give complete information only by destroying the metal sample and they cannot be done on production components. Destructive testing is time consuming, expensive and inefficient. In collaboration with several University Departments, the applicant developed and patented a new no-destructive solution by a measuring equipment giving the mechanical properties of the metallic component. This testing equipment measure, by an indentation procedure not only hardness but also the engineering stress-strain σ-ε curve, yield strength and the ultimate tensile strength (maximum stress before necking), with a no-destructive practical approach. With a rigorous method, proven by several set of measures, the equipment describes the elasto-plastic behavior of metals with quick, easy and accurate non-destructive controls. It can be used both in laboratory and in situ. It takes just few instrumented indentations with a tungsten carbide ball, recording load and depth, to calculate the stress-strain σ-ε curve, the yield strength σy and the ultimate strength σu, according to specific laws of physics. The equipment use for the macroscopic indentation a spherical indenter having 5mm of diameter, that is able to apply up to 4000N of nominal force. The indentation size is 0.07mm x 0.8 mm. The two main steps of measuring test process are data capture, carried out by the instrument itself, and data processing, performed by the integrated software. The method of analysis is covered by patent. It allows to elaborate the load-indentation depth curve (real time recorded), obtaining the engineering stress-strain curve. Standard equipment model requires a metal sample having 20mm diameter surface and a metal thickness of 6 mm. Measurable metals: steel, stainless steel, aluminum alloys, copper alloys, titanium alloys. The measuring test can be customized for companies that produce or work with special metal classes. MARKETS AND APPLICATIONS Metal Industry: steelworks, rolling mills, foundries. Plant Building: refinery, chemical plants, material mining. Energy industry: turbines, compressors and heat exchanger builders. Transport and Facilities: civil, railways and naval. Quality control on half-processed and/or final products from forging, millwork, wire drawing, extrusion, heat treatments, fusion, casting, machine tool operations, welding. Quality control on components that cannot be destroyed, components whose size/shape do not allow the sample extraction. Mechanical properties mapping (lack of homogeneity controls) on products, huge forged products, weldings. Maintenance and Safety by monitoring the degradation and the ageing of critical components, through local macroscopic measurements, to extend the estimated useful life of products and plants, guarantee safe working conditions, reduce machine downtime costs. COLLABORATION OFFERED Commercial agreements to companies that sell measuring instruments, together with technical assistance relating to the materials and the relative procedures for carrying out the tests. Licence agreements to - SMEs manufacturing semi-finished metals obtained from foundry, moulding, extrusion - SMEs manufacturing equipments, machinery and large carpentry for building, chemical, gas&oil, energy industries; - SMEs offering engineering and industrial services of quality assurance and process control - Medium and big Chemical, Gas&Oil, Steel mills companies

Advantages and innovations

The instrument is unique on the European market that measure by non-destructive method not only hardness but also the mechanical characteristics (stress-strain σ-ε curve, yield strength and the ultimate tensile strength) The instrument does not require a technical specialist to be used. The software guides the operator during the positioning of the instrument on the material surface; after that, it captures, records and process the data for the calculation of the mechanical properties. The database management is intuitive and can be customized according to the PLM software used by the client. REPEATABLE, RELIABLE AND ACCURATE DATA With high resolution sensors and proprietary algorithms, results are backed by the highest quality scientific studies. PORTABLE AND CUSTOMIZABLE The measuring equipment is a light weight and portable wireless unit that is durable and rugged and ready for use in any situation, including the most extreme environments. HIGH DISCRIMINANT VALUE The equipment allows by on time tests to identify anomalies during the production process or mapping the mechanical properties of final products and components. It can be configured to work in the field or in a lab environment. Standard equipment model requires a metal sample having 20mm diameter surface and a metal thickness of 6 mm.

Development stage

Field tested/evaluated

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Secret Know-how,Design Rights,Patents granted


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