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A RAPID NON-INVASIVE INSTRUMENT FOR DETERMINING THE GLOBAL AND LOCAL POROSITY OF PARTS MANUFACTURED BY POWDER METALLURGY (SINTEST)
Start date: 01 Oct 2008, End date: 31 Oct 2010 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"Powder Metallurgy (P/M) is a major manufacturing route for many industries. While the demand for P/M parts in its traditional automotive market is predicted to grow, future sector expansion depends directly upon its capability to manufacture zero-defect, complex mechanical P/M parts for industries such as aerospace and medicine. To comply with such standards, parts manufacturing must be optimized. However, consortium SMEs lack time-efficient and systematic instruments and procedures for the inspection of the inner structure of parts, as well as expert guidance to solve the complex problem of P/M, zero-defect optimization, constituting this a significant threat to their cost-effectiveness and competitiveness within the industry. The lack of an adequate inspection system has important implications from the point of view of quality assurance, since it increases the design costs and the time of a tool set for a new product, which is made with a trial-and-error procedure and which generates surplus costs. Consortium SMEs have identified a clear need for a non-invasive instrument for determining the porosity of P/M parts. The proposed SINTEST technology will increase consortium SME Powder Metallurgy competitive advantage by offering a highly effective and cost-efficient in-situ system that can detect deficiencies in sintered parts. Through the project, a new efficient and cost-effective inspection tool will be developed based on ultrasonic technology, which makes it possible to provide a global density map of sintered parts. The commercial objective of this SINTEST proposal is the development of a technology to better control the P/M output into the market, increasing manufacturer reliability for the supply of complex parts and EU competitiveness, as well as opening up a host of new markets for the sector, both within Europe and worldwide."
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