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Welcome

We have put together some information concerning Natural Frequency Measurement


Technology:
methods and procedures in eigenfrequency testing,
application reports and videos of this,
the innovative products we have developed for industrial applications in production and
development.
Separate info CDs (if not already stored on this CD) inform you about:
the firm RTE - the business areas, customers, partners all over the world and publications
about acoustic testing technology,
Solutions in the other business areas:
Noise and functional testing
Crack and material structure testing of metallic parts
Crack testing of ceramic parts
Vibration control of machines and processes
our Lynx letter Acoustic Testing Technology which appears regularly (apply for this on
www.rte.de (service center),
Know-how vibro acoustic: make use of our knowledge and potential and ask for
publications.
RTE regards itself as a partner and provides - in addition to the supplying of systems right
through to all-in-one solutions - a full service with supervision and maintenance of equipment and
parameterization.
We hope you will enjoy looking through the CD and would be pleased to hear your reaction.
Phone us on +49 721 / 9 46 50 0 or send an e-mail to sales@rte.de.
With our best regards

Ingolf Hertlin
President

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal/Germany Tel. +49/721/94650-0 Fax +49/721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

Natural Frequency Testing


The Lynx (Lynx lynx)
The Lynx is the largest feline
predator in Europe. Its elegance and speed are fascinating. With its acute hearing and
sharp eyesight, nothing is too
quiet or too small to escape its
vigilance.
The Lynx symbolizes our work
- quality of performance and
the ability to seize an opportunity when we see it.
Make use of our potential!

Contents
Please click on a tab below for direct access

Principle and methods


Testing technology
Application notes
Application videos
Publications

How does Acoustic Resonance Testing


(ART) work?
Acoustic Resonance Testing (ART) is a new non-destructive testing method that allows rapid
and inexpensive 100% testing of a wide range of work-pieces. It relies on the well-known
physical effect that a body, after suitable excitation (e. g. through impact), oscillates at certain
characteristic modes and frequencies (its natural or resonant frequencies). These oscillations
are, so to speak, the specimens language (or its fingerprint): they can be measured with a
microphone (airborne sound) or a laser vibrometer (body sound).
The specimens geometry determines the number of its natural frequencies: a rod has few
whilst a complex work-piece has many such frequencies.
Typically, the information that can be obtained by acoustic resonance analysis includes
cracks, structural properties, cavities, layer separation, chipping, density fluctuations etc.
Damping behaviour depends firstly on the material, and secondly, on how the specimen is
positioned during its excitation. In order to achieve high frequency resolution, signal duration
(ringing duration) should be as long as possible (> 50 ms).
Figure 1 shows examples of a specimens time-signal and resonance spectrum:

Fig. 1: Time signal (left) and resonant frequencies after impact (right)

From the natural frequencies it is possible to calculate specimen-specific characteristics and


assign them to quality attributes, e. g.





pass / OK
cracked
material structure
hardness deviation / partly hardened

A technical bulletin describing prerequisites, influencing factors, test parameters and reliability is
available from RTE. Please contact us.

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal/Germany Tel. +49/721/94650-0 Fax +49/721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

Influencing factors and compensation possibilities


Influencing factors may have an impact on workpieces, which are quality relevant or
not. Influencing factors may be related to the specimen, the manufacturing process
or the test procedure. The applicaton of acoustical methods requires a systematic
procedure to evaluate the mentioned influencing factors and if necessary to compensate them.

1.

Temperature of the workpiece

Acoustic resonance analysis is temperature sensitive. A temperature increase results


in a shift of resonant frequencies to lower values (reduces the stiffness), a decrease
to higher values. This effect has an impact on all resonances and is linear, but depends on the material and the frequency range.
Compensation can be done by heating a workpiece and then measuring the temperature by a sensor (contact or contactless) repeatively and the resonance frequencies. The spectrum has to be recalculated.

2.

Dimension

A dimensional variation, e. g. wall thickness, changes the stiffness of the part and
has an influence which often only affects certain resonances. It is important to find
out which are sensitive and which are not.
Compensation requires to systematically identify which resonances are affected and
which are not. If possible a workpiece with maximum size is mechanically processed
to the allowed minimum value. Another method is to use a FEM and to calculate the
vibration modes at maximum and minim um value.

3.

Weight

Parts with weight differences which do not result from a dimensional variation or material structure (density variation in powder metal) have lunker or porosity. This also
changes the resonant spectrum, but this influence is often not evident. The influence
on the spectrum is non-linear and requires special compensation methods.

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal/Germany Tel. +49 (0)721/94650-0 Fax -50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

Determination of Damping and


Quality
ality of Brake Disks
Description of Procedure

Table of Contents
1

Introduction ..............................................................................................................................2

Measurement Principle .............................................................................................................2

Analysis ....................................................................................................................................3

Measurements .........................................................................................................................3
4.1

Determination of the Resonant Frequencies .....................................................................3

4.2

Determination of the Quality Q ..........................................................................................4

Copyright: 2010 RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH, Pfinztal / Germany

Date
Author
26.11.2009 Legler, Hertlin

Description
RTE METH Damping and Quality Brake Disks E-100518
100518

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal/Germany Tel. 0721/94650-0 Fax 0721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

Introduction

Recording the vibration mode parameters is becoming increasingly important in brake disk
test ing. Besides determining the natural frequencies, we also have to assess the damping
that will enter as quality Q in the quality evaluation.
In cooperation with Daimler AG, RTE has developed and implemented
implemented an appropriate method, de scribed in the following.

Measurement Principle
Messmikrofon
Measuring
microphone

Specimen

Prfling

Impulse hammer
Impulshammer

The brake disk to be examined is struck and


caused to vibrate by an electromagnetically
operated impulse hammer. A measuring m icrophone mounted near the point of impact
records the resonance response by the body in
the near field.
The measured signal contains workpiece r esonances that attenuate more or less quickly
because of the internal damping.

Figure 1 : The measurement principle of resonance analysis

Once recorded, the resonance response is available as information in digital form and can be
used for the analysis. In an initial approximation, the Fourier (spectral) analysis of the re corded signal shows which resonant frequencies are present. The damping and the r esulting
quality Q may be regarded as a measure of the speed at which the resonant fr equency dies
down. The faster this happens, the lower the quality Q.

Figure 2 : The output signal (left) and the spectral analysis (right)
RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal/Germany Tel. 0721/94650-0 Fax 0721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

Analysis

Actually, the aforementioned methods are only conditionally suited for determining the nat ural frequencies and quality with the desired precision. In its procedure RTE relies on the circular approximation already used in the vibrational mode analysis. Here the information is
represented not as a spectrum, but as a frequency response locus, and the vibration mode
variables of the reso nant frequency and the quality are derived.
The Fourier analysis of a signal yields two s equences
of data, referred to as an "imaginary part" and "real
part," respectively. If we now plot this imaginary part
against the real part, we obtain, instead of a reso nance, circles or circular segments by means of which
we can determine the vibration mode variables.
By interpolating on the basis of multiple measu ring
points we can determine these variables with high accuracy.

Figure 3 : The determination of the vibration mode variables through circular approximation of a dampened vibr ation

This method reveals its strength particularly with resonances lying close to one another or in
the case of double lines, since the parameters can be determined with sufficient prec ision
even in a one-sided approximation (i.e. from the unaffected end).

Measurements

4.1

Determination of the Resonant Frequencies

The determination of the resonant frequencies is quite simple, since they occur at nearly all
points of the disk and can be easily recorded with the integral measuring microphone. One to
two excitations in the vicinity of the outside diameter generally suffice. The occurrence of
dou ble lines shall be considered insofar as, depending on the location of the excitation or
measurement, the lower, the upper or even both lines will have to be measured, making
slight shifts in the results possible. This variation is generally low relative to the test tolerance
stated in the EKB 200 2, however.

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal/Germany Tel. 0721/94650-0 Fax 0721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

4.2

Determination of the Quality Q

A reproducible determination of quality requires that the resonant frequencies be dete rmined
with high precision in the method mentioned in section 3.
The determination of the quality Q shall consider the following properties:

1.) The quality depends on the vibration mode, i.e. it does not suffice to derive the qu ality
from the overall attenuation process. Like the resonant frequencies, the parameters for
the quality shall be treated s eparated from the individual modes.
2.) The mode-specific damping and consequently the quality depends on the measurement
location. Of interest is the minimum quality or the maximum damping.
3.) It shall be specified which modes must be considered, since the
t he number of excitation
segments will depend on this. In principle no limitation is imposed by the measuring
technology or the method.
Excitation / measurement

Figure 4 : The determination of the quality on the basis of multiple measurements

Measur ing along the circumferential direction yields mode-dependent fluctuations for the
quality that are repeated as a function of the angle.
Depending on the mode and given the number of modes to be determined, we obtain a me asurement profile composed from a series
series of single measurements at a certain angle relative
to one another.
RTE reduces the number of measurements to a minimum, so that such a test can also be
em ployed in production with the pace maintained. Positioning units are controlled by the test
sof tware so that during the test the disk is rotated according to the measuring program d esigned for the specific task. An impacting unit and the corresponding measuring microphone
suffice for conduct ing this test fast and reliably. Suitable test apparatuses for manual as well
as for fully automatic operation are avai lable.
RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal/Germany Tel. 0721/94650-0 Fax 0721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

Acoustic Resonance Testing


- advantages and limitations Advantages
Reproducibility

Very high! Maximum deviation typically equals the measurement


resolution (depending on the specimen, typically 1.5 Hz !!)

Volume testing

AR evaluates the entire work-piece, independent of its size.


Depending on the sensors and the excitation, both local and global
quality assessment is possible

Non-destructive

Clean and dry; no consumables

Sensitivity

Depending on the specimens ringing duration, between 1 and 2


Hz (incl. at high frequencies)

Speed

Decision possible in less than 1 second

Automation capability

Inexpensive (correct specimen positioning and excitation are


important)

Defect assignment

Through reference objects

Limitations, prerequisites
Surface defects

Mostly for volume deficiencies

Structure

The specimen should not be too complex, otherwise a very large


number of resonant frequencies will be present

Reference objects

Clearly classified - good samples are necessary in order to


achieve reliable decisions

Defect size

cannot be determined directly, only on basis of comparisons

Defect location

normally not possible

A technical bulletin describing prerequisites, influencing factors, test parameters and reliability is
available from RTE. Please contact us.

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal/Germany Tel. +49/721/94650-0 Fax +49/721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

Technical Bulletin: Resonance Analysis


Area of
application

Acoustic resonance analysis (sound testing, Acoustic Resonance Testing, ART) is


a non-destructive test procedure e.g. for detecting cracks and structural faults. ART
compares in a qualitative manner the resonance vibrations and loss factor of test
objects with those of already known good test objects.

Prerequisites

The fault influences the components vibration behaviour in a measurable way. Other
faults will not be detected by ART.

Verification of
suitability

By measuring typical components it is possible to test whether quality-related faults /


deviations can be recognized by ART. Possible influencing factors are likewise to be
recorded and evaluated. In some cases an FEM analysis for interpreting the
resonance spectrum is purposeful or necessary. This is only executed on special
request.
1) Quick look fundamental suitability on the basis of some typical examples of
parts made available by customers.
2) Product sampling in the laboratory: 10-50 components (good and faulty parts).
3) Process sampling in manufacture 500 or more components, depending on
customer requirements concerning reliability of testing.

Influencing
factors

Test objects are subject to influences which may or may not be relevant for quality
and which change the positioning of resonance frequencies. Some influencing
factors such as temperature and dimension can be compensated for if necessary.
Fluctuations in such influencing factors, of the basic raw material (batch), of the
components or of processing makes adapting the test parameters or the setting up
of additional test parameters necessary.

Test
parameters

RTE sets up a basic parameterisation on the basis of components made available by


the customers, who are responsible for the selection. The customer is then trained in
operation, evaluation and adaption of the test system. The customer must observe
and optimize the test paramters while the test bench is in operation until efficiency is
ensured; fluctuations of influencing factors must be compensated for if necessary by
adapting the test parameters. On request RTE can provide ongoing support for
these operations in the framework of a special support agreement.

Reliability

The reliability of a test procedure depends on the procedures system capability,


diminished by the reliability of the parameterisation and the reliability of the oberver.
In the objective procedure ART the observer is not relevant for the reliability risk.
But the basic principle applies for all non-destructive test procedures: there is no
technical process without a residual risk. Even ART cannot guarantee 100%
accuracy when differentiating between good and bad parts.

Additional
documents

DGZfP Guideline US 6: Akustische Resonanzverfahren, Beuth-Verlag 2009


Deutsch, V.: NDT methods, Castell-Verlag Wuppertal, 2006
Hertlin, I.: Acoustic Resonance Analysis, Castell-Verlag Wuppertal, 2003
www.rte.de (applications, publications, product descriptions)

Updated: 3/2010

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal/Germany Tel. +49/721/94650-0 Fax +49/721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

Acoustic Testing Systems


Noise, vibration, eigenfrequencies, cracks, structure

is the family of innovative test systems


optimized for application specific requirements and performance. Acute
measurement guarantees that nothing
escapes its vigilance like the lynx!
We use SonicTC.Material for the group of applications for crack and structure testing of specimen and
SonicTC.NVH for the group of applications for noise, vibration and harshness testing.

Application specific versions


SonicTC.Bearings

bearings

NVH

SonicTC.Castings

iron cast, grey cast, vermicular cast

material

SonicTC.Composites

composite / layered material

material

SonicTC.Drives

small-power motor, propulsion

NVH

SonicTC.EigenFrequency

natural frequency measurement with age compensation

material

SonicTC.Engines

combustion engines

NVH

SonicTC.Fans

exhauster, ventilator

NVH

SonicTC.FineCeramics

industrial ceramics, chinaware, porcellaine, refractories

material

SonicTC.Gearboxes

small and medium sized

NVH

SonicTC.Gears

toothed gears, cogged rings

material

SonicTC.HeayClay

clay and stone ware, tiles, bricks

material

SonicTC.MetalForming

deep-drawing, thermoforming

material

SonicTC.PowderMetal

sintered parts

material

SonicTC.Pumps

pumps of different size

NVH

SonicTC.Seats

electrically adjusted seats

NVH

SonicTC.Tools

driven units

NVH

SonicTC.Turbines

turbines

NVH

SonicTC.Universal

for special applications

both

SonicTC.Welding

joining by different methods

material

SonicTC.WhiteGoods

household devices

NVH

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal/Germany Tel. +49/721/94650-0 Fax +49/721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

Natural frequency measurement


for production and laboratory
Task
The natural frequency of a vibrating system is that at which it will vibrate after a nonrecurring excitation. If a system is subjected to external excitation at a frequency coincident with its natural frequency, the system will vibrate with a particularly large amplitude, which is known as resonance.
Requirements for brake components like brake discs are defined in the EKB 2002 Technical Standard by the European Brake Noise Experts Group, to which OEMs and component manufacturers
have to adhere.

Characteristics
SonicTC.EigenFrequency conforms to the
above requirements, offers an excellent
price/performance ratio and records your frequencies quickly and simply. The design of the
measuring chamber was acoustically optimized
for such measurements and meets Employers'
Liability Insurance Association regulations. The
control and evaluation unit with the 17 touch
panel displays the natural frequencies to the user within seconds and monitors them relative to
settable limits.
SonicTC.EigenFrequency offers automatic multi-position measurements and can thus guarantee
high reliability. As the micro structure of cast parts can change, the system also takes into account
the age of the specimen at the time of measurement.
SonicTC.EigenFrequency is of robust construction and can be used in severe industrial environment. The equipment can also be changed over quickly from one kind of component to another in
a few steps. In the laboratory, the SonicTC.EigenFrequency offers a variety of additional archiving
and analysis options that can provide useful information for the developer.

Benefits
Excellent price/performance ratio
Can be used on different products with minimal change-over
Permits compliance with customer specifications with minimum effort
Modular design makes equipment a sound investment
Reliable multi-position measurements of natural frequency values and ageing compensation

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal/Germany Tel. +49/721/94650-0 Fax +49/721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

Selected Technical Data


Specific test parameters can be stored for product variants. The natural frequencies are displayed
on the monitor during the test.
The replaceable fixture in the test chamber can be changed easily, so that the SonicTC.EigenFrequency can be used for a large variety of components. The test chamber is designed for
test specimens with edges of up to 420 mm long. Larger test chambers or two test chambers (left
and right hand) are available on request.

Device variants

One or two test chambers

Test chamber on left, on right or on both sides

Anal ysis facilities

Time domain analysis


o RMS
o Statistical methods

Frequency range
o Power spectrum
o User-adjustable frequency bands

Ageing curve for castings

Data acquisition

Multiple excitation

Airborne sound and/or structure-borne sound (max. four channels)

24-bit resolution

51.200 samples/second

Expandabilit y

Fixtures for brake anchors, housings, brake discs, brake drums and others

Multiple position excitation

Temperature compensation

Good/bad marking colour dot

Dimensions (chamber closed)

Approx. 500 x 964 x 500 mm (h x w x d)

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal/Germany Tel. +49/721/94650-0 Fax +49/721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

- Main features Application areas

Natural frequency measurement with high resolution


Damping measurement
Component selection according to vibration characteristics
Quality factor calculation

Measurement

Airborne noise (microphone), alternatively: structure-borne noise


Temperature
Age, casting day
Workpiece parameter acquisition for type calculation, DMC

Methods
(selection)

Time domain analysis (decay)


Frequency domain analysis (FFT, DFT)
Temperature compensation
Aging influence compensation

Software

Easy-to-use by the operator


Clear presentation of classification
Multiple measurements with summing up to one decision
Correlation with other values, e. g. temperature and/or casting day
Easy set-up of similar products on basis of vibration modes
Password protected parameter set-up
Optional statistical package
Fully automated testing mode without display
Measurement archive with many filter possibilities

Hardware

Standard hardware for data acquisition, USB or PCI connection


Input channels for process data (e. g. mass, temperature)
Opto-isolated digital process I/O (e. g. PLC)
Fieldbus connection (e. g. Profibus, EthernetIP)

Operation modes

Testing: measure, classify, archive


Measurement: measure, archive
Control check: checking the correct operation of the test system
Calibration of measurement channels

Performance

Feasibility studies on basis of sample parts


Product evaluation (workpiece influencing parameters)
Process evaluation (process influencing parameters)
Shipping of key-ready testing solutions
Consultancy and support
Remote service

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal / Germany Tel. +49 721/94650-0 Fax: -50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

RESONANCE ANALYSIS
The newcomer in
non-destructive material testing
Every day people and machines all over the world are testing millions of products before they are used e.g. in vehicles and machines. These tests are absolutely necessary to guarantee that the
products are faultless and do not cause any damage when in use or
even endanger life. It is usually people who have to carry out the tests and within a very short
time have to make subjective decisions about quality characteristics which they cannot judge or
can judge only inadequately by assessing the surface. Interior errors such as cracks, cavities
and structural variations are important quality characteristics which cannot be detected on the
surface. In addition, the most frequently used non-destructive test procedures such as x-ray,
magnetic powder or dye penetrant inspection are expensive, elaborate and damaging to the environment.

Characteristics
Different versions of SONIC|TC are available for different branches of industry such as foundries, coarse or
fine ceramics, powder metal or metal forming
processes.

SONIC|TC.Universal has been assembled for the laboratory, research and higher education area. Here you
receive the complete range of functions for making use
of all possibilities in tests. For a routine test you can
then scale down to just the functions required.

Mode of operation
The component is either made to vibrate manually or electromechanically by tapping. A microphone records the sound of the component and directs it for processing to the computer.

SONIC|TC has a multitude of procedures available for analyzing and evaluating the sound.
Functions such as a post-evaluation for carrying out the what if consideration due to signals
recorded, a reference run for adapting the parameters to e.g. batch influences or various compensation procedures for balancing influences on temperature or weight complete the comprehensive software package.

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal (Germany) Phone +49 721/94650-0 Fax +49 721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

RESONANCE ANALYSIS
The newcomer in
non-destructive material testing
Here the effect of frequency
shift as an assessment criterion is illustrated. Due to
the defect, the propagation
of the vibration is impaired,
it differs from the normal
routine image. The position
of individual resonances is
monitored and assessed.

If an FEM analysis of the component is also available, then an allocation of the resonances and thus of the fault too can be made
to certain component areas. The FEM analysis is useful in understanding the vibration behavior of the component and gives indications concerning the ideal site for stimulation and the optimal hold
positions.

Your advantage
Profit from an innovative and environmentally friendly technology - no pollution by chemicals or
radiation, no expendable materials. The requirements for a laboratory measurement are few.
Very good results can be achieved even with simple resources. Thus the technology is also excellently suited for practical laboratory exercises.
On the other hand, there are still many effects for which there is still no mathematical description. Or we measure acoustic effects for which we have no explanation. The smaller the test
objects, the more problematic the stimulation of the components becomes. So for many research areas there are still excellent topics for a thesis or dissertation.

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal (Germany) Phone +49 721/94650-0 Fax +49 721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

RESONANCE ANALYSIS
The newcomer in
non-destructive material testing

Users
RTE maintains good contacts with higher education colleges and institutes in the region and
has also expanded internationally in the past years. The following institutions use our systems
in lectures, laboratories and in research (selection):

University of Miskolc

Hungary

Brno University of Technology

Czech Republic

University of Applied Sciences

Karlsruhe

University of Applied Sciences

Cologne

Fraunhofer IZFP

Saarbrcken

Leibnitz Institute for Agricultural


Engineering

Potsdam

Federal Waterways Engineering


and Research Institute

Karlsruhe

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal (Germany) Phone +49 721/94650-0 Fax +49 721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

RESONANCE ANALYSIS
The newcomer in
non-destructive material testing
Who are we?
RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH (Acoustic + Testing Technology) was
founded in 1986 as a technology-oriented company with the objective of providing products and services in the area of acoustic testing technology.
RTE counts amongst its customers chiefly firms in the automotive industry,
foundries, forges, in housing and medical technology or in the ceramics industry.
Our customers can profit from our 25 years experience.
RTE supplies acoustic measuring and testing technology for production in
the areas

Noise testing and functional testing


Noise measurement, NVH, operating characteristics, safety characteristics

Acoustic materials testing


Crack testing and microstructure testing by sound analysis, resonant frequency measurement, natural frequency measurement (eigenfrequencies)

Acoustic process monitoring


Assembly process, machining process, filling process, joining process

Services
Service and Support (24/7), feasibility analyses, design service, training

Address
RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH
Gewerbestr. 26
D-76327 Pfinztal
Phone: +49 (0)7 21 9 46 50-0
Fax:
+49 (0)7 21 9 46 50-50
info rte.de
www.rte.de
www.rte-acoustics.com

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal (Germany) Phone +49 721/94650-0 Fax +49 721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

Customers using Material Testing


(cracks, structure, eigenfrequencies)

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal/Germany Tel. +49 721/94650-0 Fax -50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

Partners worldwide
Country

RTE area

Company

Internet

Brasil

Material testing

RAIMECK Ltda
Sao Paulo

www.raimeck.com.br

China

Material testing

De Hua Materials Testing Co.


Kowloon, Hong Kong

www.dehua.com.hk

India

Material testing

NDT Technologies Ltd.


New Bombay

www.ndttechnologies.co
m

Iran

Material testing

Hami Fanavaran Yekta Ltd.


Tehran

www.hami-yekta.com

France

Noise testing
Material testing
Vibration testing

RTE Bureau de Liason France


Colmar

www.rte.de

Austria

Material testing

Mittli KG
Wien

www.mittli.at

Indonesia

Material testing

Panairsan
Jarkata

www.panairsan.com

Mexico

Noise testing
Material testing
Vibration testing

Grupo CTT, S.A. de C.V.


Aguascalientes

www.grupoctt.com.mx

Korea

Material testing

EuroHitec Co., Ltd.


Anyang-city, Kyunggi

Croatia

Material testing

IDEF d.o.o.
Zagreb

www.idef.hr

Slovenia

Noise testing
Material testing
Vibration testing

TEAM TRADE d.o.o.


Kamnik

www.team-trade.si

Turkey

Material testing

TMM NDT Inspection Co.


Bursa

www.tmmndt.com

Czech
Republic

Material testing

Testima, spol. s.r.o.


Praha

www.testima.cz

Spain

Material testing
Vibration testing

EUROMAQUINA S.A.
Madrid

www.euromaquina.com

Taiwan

Material testing

AI-KWANG Tech Co., Ltd.


Ren-Wu Township

www.ai-kwang.com.tw

Thailand

Material testing

NDT Instruments Co., Ltd.


Bangkok

www.ndtithai.com

Venezuela

Material testing

S.D. International C.A


Caracas

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal/Germany Tel. +49/721/94650-0 Fax +49/721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

The First Step to Profit


We examine your parts
Acoustic materials
testing

allows non-destructive, fast analysis of the condition of metallic and


ceramic materials as well as of composites, by using the Acoustic
Resonance Testing (ART).
The resulting sound (or vibrations) in the excited test specimen make it
possible to derive information about its composition. Thus one can detect, in simple fashion, whether it exhibits e. g. cracks, structural defects, porosity or adhesion faults.

The language of the


test specimen

It is necessary to understand the preconditions, which permit successful application of the very powerful acoustic methods. We need to analyse the way in which a perfect specimen differs from a faulty one. The
type of defect must also be established, as unambiguously as possible.
RTE can examine test pieces in its own lab or directly on the customers premises. RTE offers its customers different levels of service:

Service level 0:
Quick look

With a few representative samples RTE analyses whether the acoustic


nesonance method appears promising.
Are vibrations measurable?
Has the defect an influence on the vibration?
This service is free of charge for the customer!

Service level 1:
Product evaluation

Typical test samples of the same batch are analysed in RTEs lab
(number has to be agreed - typically 10 perfect samples and some
faulty ones per typical defect) to analyse the typical differences between good and bad parts. This includes reproducibility, excitation and
sensor position and characteristics for the classification.
We charge our customers at a flat rate for equipment and documentation which includes the investigations results in the form of a comprehensive report. Please ask for an offer.
The results obtained at this level will be of direct benefit during the following collaborative stages.

Service level 2:
Process evaluation
(measuring on site)

Sometimes, because of the test object size or due to special process


conditions, it is necessary to carry out measurements on site. RTE
staff, using mobile measurement and analysis equipment, carry out
tests on the customers premises for a fixed charge which includes all
associated costs (includes a detailed written report on the results).

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal/Germany Tel. +49/721/94650-0 Fax +49/721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

Check list part analysis


(quick look, product analysis)

Customer:

Drawn up by:

Place:

Date:

Acoustic resonance testing (ART) is, like ultrasonic, a volume-related method with which flaws can be
recognized in the work piece (in contrast to the surface-related method such as magnetic particle testing or
eddy current). It is likewise a comparative method: the characteristics are compared with those of good parts.
With a Quick look (QL) it should be possible to test whether ART is in principle applicable to recognize the faulty
parts according to the customer's requirements. The Product evaluation with more parts follows if the QL is positive.

1. Product description
No.
Questions
P 1 Name of the product
P 2 What kind of material is being dealt with?
(elastic-modulus, density, basic material etc.)
P 3 In which area is the product used?
(e.g. brake system, gears)
P 4 Number of variations / types?
P 5 Processing condition of the parts?
(e.g. stripped, blasted, ground, finished condition,...)
P 6 Error description
(e.g. crack, difference in hardness, porosity, nodularity)
P 7 Cause of error
(by the processing machine, from the raw material...)

Description

2. Selection
No.
General
Number:
to
be
agreed
(QL:
3 OK, up to 3 NOK)
S1
S 2 Marking: clear marking imperative!
S 3 Batch: according to S1 all from one batch!
S 4 State of processing:
S 5 Results / information from other test procedures?
(Manufacturer / method)

Remarks
Specimen should only differ according to the
defect
NOK parts with faulty section marked
Comparative method!
If not possible: mark batch parts accordingly
all in the same condition (comparative method!)

3. Description Manufacturing Process


No.
Questions
M 1 Production steps before testing?
M 2 Production steps after testing?
M 3 Present testing?
Manual, automatic)
M 4 Quality of raw material?
(Blanks from supplier, bar stock, tin etc.?)
M 5 Which processing steps are automated? How?

Description

M 6 Tested parts / hour?

4. Customer data
No.
C1
C2
C3
C4
C5
C6

Questions
Analysis report: to whom?
Contact partner for RTE (responsible for project)?
What happens to tested objects? (freight collect or scrap?)
Responsible for production planning?
Responsible for investment decision?
In-line testing planned? (Manual loading / unloading or fully
automatic?)
C 7 Urgency for in-line testing?
C 8 Cost expectation for overall solution?

FORM RTE Checklist analysis E-1107

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik, Germany

Description

Check list Customer Requirements


Area
Task

Subject

Customer:
City:

Author:
Date:
Result

Comment

Aim of testing
Current status / testing
Is a test specification available?

Test object

Description

(TO)

Where is the TO used

We appreciate photos!

Description of defects

We appreciate photos!

Different types? (table with dim. / weight?)


Process

Cycle time
Part feeding (manual, automatic)
Part storing (manual, automatic)
Handling time
Type of production control (PLC)
Marking/labeling of parts after test?
Test conditions

Operation

Where is the location planned?


Environment conditions:

noise:
temperature:
humidity:
dust, dirtiness:

Design

Delivery conditions available?

Mechanics:
Electric:
Pneumatic:

Electrical feeding (V)


Pneumatic feeding (bar)
Remote service possible?
Modem / ISDN / Internet?
Integration into local network planned?
Test result presentation? Lights red/green?
Presentation of test details on monitor?
If so: language?
Archive of test results on hard disc?
Statistic information wanted?

offline/online

Documentation of test bench

language:
number:
complexity:

Contact

Responsible for project

person

Production
Quality management
Purchase

Project ma-

Preferred delivery date

nagement

Payment terms:

advance payment
delivery
installation
acceptance

Time for payment (days)


Warranty (month, shifts)
Spare-part package requested?

FORM Checklist Customer Requirements E0312.docCopyright: RTE Akustik + Prftechnik

Stand: 06/02

Application Areas of
Acoustic Resonance Testing
Acoustic resonance testing can be applied to all workpieces that sound.
Industry
Casting

Ceramics

Die-casting

Material

Products (examples)

Testing for

iron casting

calipers, steering knuckles

nodularity, cracks, inclusions, cementite

grey casting

camshafts, brake discs

perlite, cracks, natural frequencies

malleable cast iron

strut plate

cracks, structure

clay

roof tiles, industry ceramics

cracks, surface, dimensional stability

catalytic converter

cracks

pedals, steering wheel

cracks

Aluminium

steering gear housing


Forge

conrods, stub axles

cracks

synchronous rings

cracks

bottles

cracks

plates

cracks

Ingot mould

chassis parts, cylinder head

cracks, inclusions

Metal forming

air bag parts

cracks (smilies)

chain wheels, drive pulleys

cracks

miscellaneous products

cracks

planetary carrier

cracks, welding

drive shafts

cracks, natural frequencies

steering racks

cracks, hardness

rims

cracks

Glas

Sintered metal

Steel

powder metal

iron

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal/Germany Tel. +49/721/94650-0 Fax +49/721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

Natural Frequencies Testing of Brake


Components in Laboratory
Task
All components of a brake system (disc, caliper, holder and
pads) must harmonize in that way that the resonance
frequencies of the single parts do not interfere with the other
components. Otherwise the brake may squeeze and rattle.
For testing brake calipers and holders a test bench is needed
that allows a flexible testing of right and left versions with
minimum changeover effort. RTE developed a test bench which
allows a alternating testing with two fixtures. For different types
the complete fixture can be replaced by another one.

Solution

Double test bench with manual loading and unloading

Automatic type recognition and parameter loading

Type specific fixture with sensor and excitation

Changeover by replacing the fixture

Different products can be tested at the same time

Benefit

Reliable and objective measurement

Easy changeover to different types

Test bench controls correct bad part deposit

Documentation and retraceability

Testing Technology

Test system SonicTC.EigenFrequency

Data archive and statistical evaluation

Easy to set-up and operate

Frequency resolution < 1 Hz

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal/Karlsruhe Tel. 0721/94650-0 Fax 0721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

Natural Frequencies Testing of Brake


Components in Production
Task
All components of a brake system (disc, caliper, holder and
pads) must harmonize in that way that the resonance
frequencies of the single parts do not interfere with the other
components. Otherwise the brake may squeeze and rattle.
For testing brake calipers and holders a test bench is needed
that allows a flexible testing of right and left versions with
minimum changeover effort. RTE developed a test bench which
allows a alternating testing with two fixtures. For different types
the complete fixture can be replaced by another one.

Solution

Double test bench with manual loading and unloading

Automatic type recognition and parameter loading

Type specific fixture with sensor and excitation

Changeover by replacing the fixture

Different products can be tested at the same time

Benefit

Reliable and objective measurement

Easy changeover to different types

Test bench controls correct bad part deposit

Documentation and retraceability

Short cycle time for volume testing near production

Testing Technology

Test system SonicTC.EigenFrequency

Data archive and statistical evaluation

Easy to set-up and operate

Frequency resolution < 1 Hz

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal/Karlsruhe Tel. 0721/94650-0 Fax 0721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

Application Note
Natural frequency measurement of brake
discs for production and laboratory
Task
The natural frequency of a vibrating system is that at which it will vibrate after a nonrecurring
excitation. If a system is subjected to external excitation at a frequency coincident with its
natural frequency, the system will vibrate with particularly large amplitude, which is known as
resonance. Requirements for brake discs are defined in the EKB 2002 Technical Standard
by the European Brake Noise Experts Group, which is supported by OEMs like Daimler, Audi, VW, Fiat, BMW, Ford and Porsche and all main component manufacturers have to adhere.

Characteristics
SonicTC.EigenFrequency from RTE conforms to the above requirements, offers an excellent price/performance ratio and records your frequencies quickly and simply.
SonicTC.EigenFrequency offers automatic multi-position measurements and can thus guarantee high reliability. As the micro structure of cast parts can change, the system also takes
into account the age of the specimen at the time of measurement.
SonicTC.EigenFrequency is of robust construction and can be used in severe industrial environment. The equipment can also be changed over quickly from one kind of component to
another in a few steps. In the laboratory, the SonicTC.EigenFrequency offers a variety of
additional archiving and analysis options that can provide useful information for the developer.

Test system cabinet version


The control and evaluation unit for harsh environment with
the 17 touch panel displays the natural frequencies to the
user within seconds and monitors them relative to settable
limits.
This cabinet rack version is movable and can be connected
to the specific automation system or fixture via a Harting
connector.

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal/Germany Tel. +49/721/94650-0 Fax +49/721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

Test system chamber version


The replaceable fixture in the test chamber can be changed
easily, so that the SonicTC.EigenFrequency can be used
for a large variety of components. The test chamber is designed for test specimens with edges of up to 420 mm long.
Larger test chambers or two test chambers (left and right
hand) are available on request.
The chamber version can be used for audit testing in a lab
and is movable.

Test system manual production version


The test bench is loaded and unloaded manually by a
worker. The test bench PLC determines the type of the test
specimen automatically by dimensional characteristics and
moves the excitation devices and the microphone, which are
mounted on linear slides, automatically to the measurement
position by servomotors.
A light barrier safeguards the worker access during measurement.

Test system automatic production version


The design and manufacturing of a test
bench for integration into the production flow
is customer specific and can include decollating, testing, marking of good parts and
bad part sorting.
The test bench can determine the test
specimen type automatically using a camera
or gets this information from the line PLC.
Excitation devices and the microphones,
which are mounted on linear slides, can
automatically be moved to the measurement
position by servomotors. In addition it is
possible to measure the damping (Q-factor)
of the brake disk.

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal/Germany Tel. +49/721/94650-0 Fax +49/721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

Random (low volume) Natural


Frequencies Testing of Brake Discs
Task
All components of a brake system (disc, caliper, holder and
pads) must harmonize in that way that the resonance
frequencies of the single parts do not interfere with the other
components. Otherwise the brake may squeeze and rattle.
For testing brake discs within the production a compact fixture
is necessary which allows a fast changeover to different brake
discs types. As an option the device should allow the Q factor
calculation by turning the workpiece for multiple measurements.

Solution

Portable all-in-one solution for random inspection

Suitable for all dimensions and shape of brake discs

Manual adaption to different product types

Upgrade with turntable for quality factor measurement

Benefit

Reliable and objective measurement

Easy changeover to different types

Portable device includes all necessary functions

Documentation and retraceability

Mode specific Q and overall Q with turntable

Testing Technology

Test system SonicTC.EigenFrequency

Data archive and statistical evaluation

Easy to set-up and operate

Frequency resolution < 1 Hz

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal/Karlsruhe Tel. 0721/94650-0 Fax 0721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

Natural Frequencies Testing of Brake


Discs in Production (manual operation)
Task
All components of a brake system (disc, caliper, holder and
pads) must harmonize in that way that the resonance
frequencies of the single parts do not interfere with the other
components. Otherwise the brake may squeeze and rattle.
For high volume testing brake discs within the production RTE
developed a manually loaded test bench without changeover to
different brake discs types. As an option the device allows the
Q factor calculation by turning the workpiece for multiple
measurements.

Solution

All-in-one solution for high volume inspection

Suitable for all dimensions and shape of brake discs

Manual loading and unloading automatic testing

Servo-motor driven automatic adaption of sensors and actors to different types

Light barrier protection of operator

PLC controlled operation

Upgrade with turntable for quality factor measurement

Benefit

Reliable and objective measurement

Fully automatic changeover to different types

Portable device includes all necessary functions

Documentation and retraceability

Mode specific Q and overall Q with turntable

Testing Technology

Test system SonicTC.EigenFrequency

Data archive and statistical evaluation

Easy to set-up and operate

Frequency resolution < 1 Hz

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal/Karlsruhe Tel. 0721/94650-0 Fax 0721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

Natural Frequencies Testing of Brake


Discs in Production (automatic operation)
Task
All components of a brake system (disc, caliper, holder and
pads) must harmonize in that way that the resonance
frequencies of the single parts do not interfere with the other
components. Otherwise the brake may squeeze and rattle.
For high volume testing brake discs within the production RTE
developed a line integrated test bench without changeover to
different brake discs types. As an option the device allows the
Q factor calculation by turning the workpiece for multiple
measurements.

Solution

Fully automatic test bench for integration in production

Suitable for all dimensions and shape of brake discs

Type identification by camera (dot matrix code) and automatic adaption of sensors and actors by servo-motors

Double excitation and acquisition by microphones

Reference disc / master part for control of settings

PLC controlled operation

Upgrade with turntable for quality factor measurement

Benefit

Reliable and objective measurement

Fully automatic changeover to different types

Portable device includes all necessary functions

Documentation and retraceability

Mode specific Q and overall Q with turntable

Testing Technology

Test system SonicTC.EigenFrequency

Data archive and statistical evaluation

Easy to set-up and operate

Frequency resolution < 1 Hz

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal/Karlsruhe Tel. 0721/94650-0 Fax 0721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

Natural Frequencies Testing of


Steering Columns in Production
Task
Steering columns propagate vibrations from the front axle to the
steering wheel. The wheel vibrates when the excites frequency
and the natural frequency are nearly the same. When driving
the main vibrations come from the tires, elsewise from the
engine.
By natural frequency measurement and simulation of the
steering wheel mass the columns should be grouped. This
grouping allows to decide whether the steering columns can me
mounted in a car with benzine engine or a diesel engine.

Solution

Double test bench with manual loading and unloading

Test fixtures for manual and electric steering columns

Structure-borne vibration measurement in two directions

Simulation of built-in condition of a car

Different products can be tested alternately

Benefit

Reliable and objective measurement

Easy grouping of columns according to their vibrational


condition

Realistic test conditions according to car situation

Documentation and retraceability

Testing Technology

Test system SonicTC.EigenFrequency

Data archive and statistical evaluation

Easy to set-up and operate

Frequency resolution < 1 Hz

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal/Karlsruhe Tel. 0721/94650-0 Fax 0721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

To watch the application videos please click on the


corresponding tab.

Brake discs:
Semi-automatic natural frequency testing

Brake discs:
Fully automatic natural frequency testing

CD EF Videos E-120411

Acoustic Resonance Analysis


Acoustic resonance analysis, often also called sonic testing
is one of the oldest non-destructive testing methods. An
impact is applied to the test piece to make it vibrate and the
sound is assessed by ear or through a microphone. Using this
method the tester or a testing device can recognize cracks
and inclusions or can assess hardness and grain structure.
The book Acoustic Resonance Analysis by Ingolf Hertlin is
the first one on this subject and has been published by the
Castell Verlag, Wuppertal, as Volume 5 in the series
Publications on Non-Destructive Testing - NDT Compact
and understandable. The author is the Managing Director of
RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH, Pfinztal. The book
conveys not only the fundamentals of acoustics but also the
principle of resonance analysis and also gives examples of
solutions in industrial series testing.
Contents:
1. Introduction
2. Physics
3. Resonance analysis
4. Testing techniques
5. Applications
6. Resonance analysis within the NDT
7. Appendix (concepts, designation, literature)

Order:

copies

Fax: +49 (0) 721/94 65 0-50


E-Mail: info@rte.de

Acoustic Resonance Analysis


A series of publications for non-destructive testing.
NDT Compact and understandable, Vol. 5, Castell-Verlag, 2003,
58 pages.
12,00 plus postage and 7 % VAT:
Germany: 13,66
Europe:
14,90
Worldwide: 17,90
20 % reduction for members of the DGZfP e.V. or DGaQs e.V.

Fa.

Company:
Name, first name:
Street:
ZIP code, city:
Country:
Tel.:

Fax:

E-Mail:
Member of DGZfP e.V.

DGaQs e.V.

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH


Gewerbestr. 26
D 76327 Pfinztal
Germany

Place, date

Signature

Natural Frequency Measurement


'Frequently Asked Questions'
F1

What is the motivation for 'natural frequency testing'?


There are different applications which make use of this kind of test:
A: Checking the microstructure of the castings
It is a fast way to continuously keeping track of material characteristics like
hardness and modulus of elasticity in a casting process. Cast iron properties are influenced by the added alloying elements, which change the microstructure of the cast. This causes a change of the wave propagation
within the test specimen. The method is used to check/distinguish
for/between grey iron (GJL), ductile iron (GJS), vermicular iron (GJV) or
malleable iron (GJMW or GJMB).
B: Assuring part acoustic behavior/influence during operation
A brake system consists of multiple components - most of them are casting parts. These parts can be easily made sounding by striking. This ability
to sound (or vibrate) is also observable in the assembled condition. If two
parts are mounted together having a similar or the same natural frequency, the part vibration will be amplified - they are getting into "resonance".
This situation must be avoided.
To do so, each part of the brake system has to be designed to its own
natural frequency signature. The result is, even if one part is getting into
oscillation, the other components do not care about and stay quiet. Brake
squeaking can be reduced to a minimum. The automotive industry has defined natural frequencies as part of the specifications and drawings.
C: Component sorting
Steering columns propagate vibrations from the front axle to the steering
wheel. The wheel vibrates when the excited frequency and the natural frequency are nearly the same. When driving the main vibrations come from
the tires, elsewise from the engine.
By natural frequency measurement and simulation of the steering wheel
mass the columns should be grouped. This grouping allows deciding
whether the steering columns can be mounted in a car with benzine engine or diesel engine.

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal/Germany Tel. +49/721/94650-0 Fax +49/721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

F2

What is the principle of the 'natural frequency test'?


The test is based on the acoustic resonance analysis. This method uses the
known physical effect that a body having been suitably excited (e. g. by tapping), vibrates in certain characteristic forms and frequencies.
These vibrations, also called 'natural frequencies', are so to speak the
'language of the work piece', which can be measured by a microphone (airborne sound) or by a laser vibrometer (structure-borne sound) and digitally analyzed. The decisive factor for the number and spread of natural resonances of a
work piece is its geometry: a bar has few natural resonances; a complex work
piece has multiple natural resonances.

F3

How is the 'natural frequency test' practically performed?


First, the part has to be placed on soft tips to avoid damping effects. To stimulate the parts oscillation, a tiny electrically driven metal hammer is used to create an impact on the parts surface. This mechanical impulse makes the part vibrating in its characteristic forms and frequencies. A microphone mounted close
to the test specimen surface is collecting these frequencies and converting
them into electrical signals. Finally a data acquisition system is convertin g the
signals into numerical values, which are processed by the computer. A special
algorithm called 'Fourier Analysis' (FFT) is used to present the typical fingerprint of the tested part. Each vertical peak represents one natural frequency
(Fig. 1). The higher the level, the stronger the oscillation and - in the opposite
direction - the more sensitivity the part has at this specific frequency.

Fig. 1: The acoustical finger print of a test part

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal/Germany Tel. +49/721/94650-0 Fax +49/721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

F4

What are the different excitation methods?


To stimulate the oscillation of the part, different methods are possible:

Fig. 2: Excitation methods

The excitation has to stimulate the test specimen to vibrate in its resonances.
These can then be measured by a microphone, a laser vibrometer or an accelerometer (see F 5).
The impulse modal hammer consists of a quartz force sensor mounted on the
striking end of the hammer head to measure the excitation force. As the excitation force has only an influence on the resonance frequency amplitude, but not
on the value, it is not necessary to use a modal hammer for resonance frequency evaluation.
An electrodynamic hammer is designed to have a short contact time, can be
adjusted to the necessary excitation force and allows constant amplitudes. This
device is sufficient for natural frequency testing and used in automation applications.
Manual excitation is used in initial tests. As the excitation force is not constant
the level of the resonances varies.
Piezo-electric actors vibrate at a specific frequency depending on the supplied
voltage. When you contact such a device with the test specimen it will vibrate
with the same frequency as the actor. If the actor frequency meets a resonance
frequency of the part you can measure this with a second sensor (accelerometer). The advantage is the high frequency range, the disadvantage is that it is
necessary to sweep the induced frequencies. This is time consuming and the
contact quality and position have a great influence on the result.
F5

Which sensor is the best for measuring the resonance frequencies?


Resonance frequencies can be measured contactless by a microphone or laser
vibrometer or contacted by an accelerometer. Whereas a laser vibrometer and
an accelerometer measure the resonance frequency and amplitude at a single

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal/Germany Tel. +49/721/94650-0 Fax +49/721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

position the microphone is the only device that can measure integral, i.e. all
frequencies regardless of the position. To measure all vibration modes with
significant amplitude two or more microphones can be used.
F6

How long does it take to get the natural frequencies of a part?


This depends on the number of impacts and the part itself. When testing a
brake disc, a caliper or a bracket, typically two or three excitations are used to
induce the natural frequencies. After the excitation, it takes less than 1 second
to read and analyze the sound. So in total, within two seconds or even less all
natural frequencies are available for evaluation.

F7

What about the environmental conditions to perform this test?


In most cases nothing. This measurement is not influenced by environmental
noise and vibrations. The sensors are directional microphones which are located close to the part surface. If necessary, simple damping elements are placed
in the area surrounding the specimen to ensure a good signal-to-noise ratio.

F8

Which influences have an impact on the 'natural frequencies' of the part?


There are two different types of influences:
A: Static influences:
Static influences are based on the production process and the part material itself. They are invariant over the time and primary responsible for the
position of the natural frequencies. These are mainly geometrical dimensions, coefficient of elasticity, density, hardness, cast structure and some
others.
B: Temporary influences:
Temporary influences are work piece temperature and age of the part. The
following example explains the temperature influence (Fig. 3):
If a part temperature is 50 C and the reference values are typically
measured at 20 C we can expect a frequency shift of about 0.75 %.
This is a respectable value compared to a tolerance range of 3 %.
In fact, by measuring the part temperature, this effect can be compensated by the software.
The age of the part is responsible for a shift of natural frequencies within a
time period of e. g. 30 days (Fig. 4). During this time the natural frequencies of the part are shifted to higher frequencies following an exponential
curve. This effect is caused by changes in the microstructure as well as by
reduction of material tensions (especially with grey iron).

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal/Germany Tel. +49/721/94650-0 Fax +49/721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

The reference values in a drawing are referred to 'aged' parts. A very theoretical solution would be to wait 30 days before performing the measurement. The more efficient way is to input the age of the part into the mea surement software which uses this information to calculate the values as
they would be at an age of 30 days.
All types of compensation methods mentioned above are part of RTE's
test software SonicTC.EigenFrequency.

Fig. 3: Influence of the part temperature

F9

Fig. 4: Influence of the part age

Measure cast blank or machined part?


Both - with different focus. In the casting area the main issue is to check the
averaged values over one batch. For brake discs the tolerances of raw parts
are often defined as acceptable within 5 % and for machined parts within 3 %
of the reference values. The measured statistical mean values should be as
close as possible to the reference values to avoid increased reject later on. Machining changes the natural frequencies (see above). Batch inspection by samples may be sufficient, but depends on customer requirements.

F 10 Is this technology applicable in laboratory and shop floor?

Yes - as long as the measurement conditions follow the rules mentioned above.
It can be used for low volume/laboratory (Fig. 5), optimized for brake discs),
medium volumes in labs/shop floors (Fig. 6) and manufacture integrated as fully automated units (Fig. 7, Fig. 8).

Fig. 5: SonicTC.Cube: manually loaded test


device (low volume, special fixture, manual
type adaption, optimized for brake discs, fly
wheels etc.)

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal/Germany Tel. +49/721/94650-0 Fax +49/721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

Fig. 6: Manually loaded test


benches (medium volume,
type-specific work piece
carriers, optimized for calipers, brackets, knuckles)

Fig. 7: Manually loaded test bench

Fig. 8: Inline 100 % test bench (high volume,

(high volume, automatic changeover,


optimized for brake discs)

automatic changeover, optimized for brake discs)

F 11 Are there any specifications concerning 'natural frequency test'?

Yes - there are some. Common specifications concerning brake parts are the
EKB Technical Standards from the European Brake Noise Experts Group (EKB
2001/2002 for brake discs, EKB 4001 for brake calipers). It contains some hints
regarding theory and practical application of that test. In addition the brake
manufacturers and OEMs often have proprietary specifications.

Any further questions? Feel free to contact RTE the experts in


acoustic testing for production and development.

RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH Gewerbestr. 26 D-76327 Pfinztal/Germany Tel. +49/721/94650-0 Fax +49/721/94650-50 www.rte.de info@rte.de

International EURO PM2009, Copenhagen

Compensation-based non-destructive automatic quality control


using acoustic methods
Ingolf Hertlin
RTE Akustik + Prftechnik GmbH
Gewerbestr. 26, D-76327 Pfinztal, Germany
www.rte.de

Abstract
Cracks, porosity and density differences can occur during the manufacturing process.
The non-destructive testing method acoustic resonance testing (ART) allows fast
quality control of each single part integrated in the production flow. The method
evaluates in particular the mechanical stiffness of the test specimen. The temperature
of the part, dimensional variations and mass / density variations have an influence on
the measurement results (resonant frequencies) in the same way as cracks and
porosity and may mask them. Compensation methods allow the - permitted - productspecific variations to be distinguished from defects. In this way the method is able to
detect capillary cracks reliably. The presentation describes the procedural method, the
type and nature of compensation and the results of industrial applications.
Keywords
Non-destructive testing (NDT), quality control, acoustic, resonance analysis, crack
testing, process compensation, acoustic resonance testing

Introduction
Acoustic sound analysis is a well-established non-destructive method for components
that radiate sound, especially in metal and ceramic industry. The method is used in
high-volume production to scan the parts fast and cost-effective within the production
flow.
Not only the raw materials, but also the manufacturing process affects the product
characteristics and determines how a specimen sounds. Whereas human testers can
easily adapt to this, an automatic inspection system relies on references and compares
the measured sound to decide, whether the part is good or bad. In the past, solutions
came up which did not cope with the complexity of this task:
a) The product material is in general a mixture of different raw materials. Rheological

additives and a heating process influence the stiffness of the part. Inoculation
during the cast process influences the graphite structure.
b) Inhomogeneity of the microstructure or density variation causes an acoustical

variation.
c) Dimensional variation changes the vibration modes of the part.
d) Part temperature affects the elastic modulus and density and thus the resonance

frequencies of the part.


Many non-destructive inspections for the quality control use surface-related methods
and do not assess the inner structure or defects like cracks as volume-related
procedures do.
These reasons and low performance of test systems at times resulted in low confidence
in the assessments of fully automated final inspection systems.
To cover the allowed process and part variation it is mandatory to eliminate, i. e.
compensate, this impact on the acoustic behaviour of the part. Consecutively powerful
classification methods can be used to find defects like capillary cracks or structural
defects.
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International EURO PM2009, Copenhagen

NDT method Acoustic Resonance Testing


Dynamic systems can be characterized in terms of one or more natural frequencies [1].
The natural frequency is the frequency at which the system would vibrate if it were
given an initial disturbance (stimulus) and then allowed to vibrate freely. The physical
model of a natural frequency is a mass hanging from a spring. The mass represents the
part being tested and the spring represents its stiffness. The mass m vibrates up and
down at its resonant frequency f, which is proportional to the stiffness k divided by the
mass (undamped system).
f ~

(1)

The wave propagation in solids consists of longitudinal and transversal waves with the
sound velocity
cL =

E (1 )

(1 2 )

cT =

E
2 (1 + )

(2)

with E elastic modulus, density and Poissons ratio. Elastic modulus and density are
both temperature dependent.
Any part has an infinite number of resonances, each determined by a specific
combination of material properties and dimensions. Sound testing makes use of this
effect: After suitable stimulation, e.g. by striking, the body vibrates in well-defined
characteristic patterns and frequencies. A sound is a mixture of many single
frequencies (in this case resonances) at a certain level and is not limited to the audible
range but also includes the ultrasonic area. The oscillations, registered with a
microphone, a laser vibrometer or an accelerometer, are so to speak the "language" of
the test object, its distinctive fingerprint. They provide information about the entire test
object and not just locally at the site of the sensor.
Acoustic resonance testing (ART) [2] is a volume-related, non-destructive testing
procedure, which makes the quick and cost-saving 100 % testing of test objects
possible (Fig. 1). Sound testing in line production is an approved technology.

Fig. 1: Non-destructive testing methods (selection)

The principal difference between ART and the classic NDT methods is that ART is
sensitive for strength change: a structural defect reduces the stiffness and lowers the
resonant frequency.
Different defect types can be evaluated with one measurement, e. g. cracks, material
deviations and structural deviations (inhomogeneity, stiffness / hardness, porosity). The
main objective is that the defect influences the acoustical behaviour of the part and is
significant with relation to the production scatter.

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International EURO PM2009, Copenhagen

The sensitivity (defect size, defect location) is also related to the part size and shape.
Experimental and theoretical evaluations show that the size of a defect as well as the
defect location has an impact on the frequency values [3]: A larger defect results in the
shift to lower peak frequencies (same defect location) and a deeper defect in the shift to
higher peak frequencies (same defect size). The first influence is higher than the latter
and means that the resonance method is more sensitive for the expansion of a defect
than its location.
The decision for the applicability of the acoustic method requires systematic
engineering and tests prior to automation.

Why compensation?
Various influences the radiation and measurement of the sound and hence the
resonance frequencies (Table 1). In general there are influences from the
manufacturing process (called process-related influences) and influences that come
from the test bench and / or the test system set-up and measurement conditions (called
test-related influences). Especially the excitation to generate the resonance frequencies
is important: Position and direction are responsible for the level of a resonance
frequency. The strength of the excitation can cause a linear or non-linear response
from the specimen resulting in frequency changes and additional frequencies in the
spectrum. The contact time is responsible for the frequency range and the damping of
frequencies.
Influence

Effect

Compen
sation

Method

yes
no
no
no
yes
yes
no
yes
yes
yes

calculation
test objective
test objective
test objective
characteristics
test objective
test objective
characteristics
measurement
measurable

no
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes

training strategies
engineering, layout
engineering, layout
engineering, layout
engineering, layout
engineering, layout
engineering, layout
engineering, layout
engineering, layout
engineering, layout
engineering, layout
engineering
engineering, layout
engineering

Process-related influence
Aging
Blowholes
Crack size / location
Density
Dimension
Hardness
Porosity
Raw material
Temperature
Weight

hardness change (e. g. in castings)


(minimal) disturbance of wave propagation
wave propagation disturbance, flexural & longitudinal resonances
wave propagation
flexural & longitudinal vibration modes
flexural resonances
wave propagation
e-modulus and density, wave speed
change of e-modulus and density
see density / raw material

Test-related influence
Human classification
Excitation direction
Excitation force
Excitation position
Excit. contact time
Sensor charact.
Sensor direction
Sensor position
Sensor type
Support material
Support position
Test characteristics
Test environment
Test parameters

set up of characteristics, quality assessment


resonance stimulation
linear / non-linear part behaviour
resonance stimulation
resonance spectrum, damping
resonance measurement, resonance spectrum
resonance measurement
resonance measurement
resonance measurement, resonance spectrum
wave propagation, damping, degree of freedom
wave propagation, damping, degree of freedom
classification power
signal-to-noise ratio
measurement resolution, filter parameters and others

Table 1: Influence on the acoustical behaviour of a specimen

Taking all this into account the challenge is to evaluate the impact of these process and
test influences according to a specific test object and test objectives.

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International EURO PM2009, Copenhagen

Compensation techniques
As explained above the (accepted) process variation results in the change of specimen
behaviour and thus variation of the resonance frequencies To make the test parts
comparable it is necessary to eliminate this influence as best as possible by adapting
the resonance sprectrum. Within this contribution we explain first some of the process
and then some test related influences.
Precondition of applying frequency compensation is an extremely accurate
measurement. Fig. 2 shows the relative standard deviation related to the vibration
mode of a part with the first vibration mode at 8,5 kHz and the tenth at 78,3 kHz. ART
has an excellent measurement precision of about 0.0035 % at the low frequency and
0.0006 % at higher frequencies [4] and depends only on the frequency resolution
independent of the specific equipment.
Experimental standard deviation (rel.)
0,0000400

Rel. deviation

0,0000350
0,0000300
0,0000250
0,0000200
0,0000150
0,0000100
0,0000050
0,0000000
1

10

Vibration modes (1: 8,5 kHz, 10: 78,3 kHz)

Fig. 2: Standard deviation dependency

Process-related influence
Temperature
Temperature measurement precision depends on a number of factors but can be done
with a precision of 0,5 C. When the temperature of the work piece changes, all
resonance frequencies are affected. A part at lower temperature has a higher stiffness
than a part at higher temperature. The result is a negative shift of the resonances. The
temperature has a linear influence, but the gradient of the straight-line depends on the
frequency (Fig. 3). Fig. 4 shows the effect of temperature compensation.

Fig. 3: Temperature compensation (material: steel)

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International EURO PM2009, Copenhagen

Fig. 4: Frequency temperature compensation


(x-axis: frequency, y-axis: level)

Dimension
To analyse the impact of dimensional variation it is very helpful to know the different
vibration modes on basis of a FEM analysis [5]. Through model variation the
(theoretical) frequency shift can be calculated. The importance of a dimensional
variation depends on the shape of the part and the location of variation, but in general
the influence is, e. g. for a bar:
1. The dimensional variation is proportional to the frequency variation, but with
opposite sign (shift to lower frequencies when the dimension increases).
2. The variation in radial direction (diameter, transversal wave) has much bigger
impact than in axial direction (length, longitudinal wave). A diameter variation
directly affects the stiffness of the part!
3. The impact of a length variation dwindles with increasing resonance frequencies.
4. The impact of a diameter variation increases with increasing resonance
frequencies.
11800
Influence on heigth
frequency [Hz]

11760
11720
11680
11640
11600
11560
11,850

11,900

11,950

12,000

12,050

12,100

12,150

heigth [m m ]

Fig. 5: Dimensional impact (transversal wave)

Fig. 5 shows the influence of a dimensional variation, in this case of a toothed ring with
a diameter of 290 mm. The allowed variation of the height of 0,1 mm (0,8 %) causes a
frequency variation of 80 Hz (0,67 %).
Raw material
Concerning acoustic analysis the material properties can simply be characterized by
elastic the modulus E (Youngs modulus), the density , Poissons ratio , bulk /
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International EURO PM2009, Copenhagen

compression modulus K and shear modulus G. For homogeneous isotropic materials


the relationship between them for a bar is:
E = 2G (1+) = 3K (1 2)

(3) [6]

A change of raw material can especially happen on a batch change. This influences the
acoustic resonance response as follows:
1. A positive change for E leads to a positive deviation of resonance frequencies,
weighted by .
2. A positive change for leads to a negative deviation of resonance frequencies,
weighted by . is reciprocal to E (for similar material).
3. The impact by E and is not affected by the value of the resonance frequencies.
4. has no influence in the lower frequency range, but increasing influence in
increasing frequency.
There are different approaches for compensation possible:
a) Use of relative rather than absolute resonance frequencies
b) Include parts with minimum and maximum characteristics
c) Track abnormal / rapid resonance changes and adapt limits
d) Pattern recognition (when rapid changes occur due to natural material variation

and process conditions [7]).


There is no (simple) relationship between E modulus and hardness or tensile strength.

Test-related influence
As visible in Table 1 there are many influences caused by the testing conditions. The
compensation of the different items can be achieved, but experience and engineering is
necessary. It is essential for acoustic material testing that the resonance frequencies are
induced to be able to measure them. This is not only a matter of the excitation, but also of
other parameters and system set-up.
Work piece support
Fig. 6 shows the influence of the support material and the number of support contact
positions (within one circle are measurements with a 3-position support and a 4position support; the latter has a bigger damping influence and results in a lower
amplitude!).

Fig. 6: Work piece support influence (left: 3,2 kHz, right: 13 kHz)

Sensor characteristics
Fig. 7 shows the influence of different sensor characteristics (in this case microphones
from different manufacturers). Reasons for this are different sound field sensitivity and
directional characteristics. If you do not use the appropriate sensor you might loose
important information.
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International EURO PM2009, Copenhagen

Fig. 7: Sensor characteristic influence


(x-axis: frequency, y-axis: level)

Sensor type
In addition it is a big difference if you use a microphone as a sensor with its integral
capabilities or you use a laser vibrometer or piezoelectric transducer, which measure
the part vibrations at a single position.

Conclusion
Acoustic methods can be applied to the quality control of various kinds of parts.
Sometimes is this the only method to meet the requirements for a fast and
comprehensive evaluation. Product-specific engineering plays a central role for the setup of characteristics and test procedures and creates the basis for the compensation of
process-related influences. The benefit is an objective quality assessment and steadygoing inline high volume production control of high reliability and sensitivity. Guidelines
are necessary and will be provided shortly to describe the approach for successful
applications under the constraint of process and product related variation [8].
References:
[1] Kinsler et. al.: Fundamentals in Acoustics. John Wiley & Sons 2000
[2] Hertlin, I.: Acoustic Resonance Analysis. Informative booklets for non-destructive testing;
Vol. 5; Castell-Verlag, Wuppertal 2003
[3] Asano et. al: Impact acoustics methods for defect evaluation in concrete. International
symposium on Non-destructive testing in civil engineering 2003
[4] Walte et. al.: Einflsse von Bauteiltoleranzen und Bauteilfehlern bei der akustischen
Resonanzanalyse. Jahrestagung DGZfP, Mnster 2009
[5] Hertlin, I.: Acoustic Resonance Analysis Using FEM and Laser Scanning For Defect
Characterization in In-Process NDT. Proceedings of the European Conference on NDT,
Berlin 2006
[6] Heckl, M., Mller, H. A. et. al.: Taschenbuch der Technischen Akustik, Springer-Verlag,
Berlin 1994
[7] Hertlin, I., Rieth-Hoerst, S.: Now Available: Fully Automatic In-line Roofing Tile Inspection.
Tile & Brick International Manual 2007, Verlag DVS
[8] DGZfP - Richtlinie Zerstrungsfreie Prfung mittels akustischer Resonanzverfahren
Methodik, Einflussgren, Voruntersuchungen, Validierung. DGZfP Berlin, 2009 (will be
published)
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