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Real-time Ultrasonic Quality Control Monitoring in Resistance Spot Welding: Today and Tomorrow

Resistance spot welding is a reliable and widely accepted technique in the automotive, construction and manufacturing industries for joining metal sheets because of its low cost, ease of automation and reliability. The shift to new materials such as aluminum, magnesium and high strength steels has not changed this. Despite advancements, the principal process remains the same: joule heating is used to fuse metal sheets at a point. With increased production automation, quality assurance has become an issue that many have tried to address. Previously, the Institute for Diagnostic Imaging Research at the University of Windsor introduced a new technique for real-time inspection of the weld process using a transducer installed in the electrode. With this system, analysis and feedback can be given during the welding process, allowing for corrections to be made. With the introduction of new materials, traditional analysis techniques are proving insufficient. For this reason, the development of a 2D system has taken place, allowing for measurement of the lateral dimensions of a weld. Also, research into the dynamic prediction and prevention of expulsion events is underway with the hopes of preventing expulsions altogether. These innovations are currently in high demand and have the potential to bring resistance spot welding to a completely new level of quality and reliability.

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