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research-article

Assessment of ultrasonic welds using pulsed infrared thermography

[+] Author and Article Information
Megan/ E. McGovern

Global Research and Development, General Motors, 30470 Harley Earl Blvd. Warren, MI 48092
megan.mcgovern@gm.com

Teresa Rinker

Global Research and Development, General Motors, 30470 Harley Earl Blvd. Warren, MI 48092
teresa.rinker@gm.com

Ryan / C. Sekol

Global Research and Development, General Motors, 30470 Harley Earl Blvd. Warren, MI 48092
ryan.sekol@gm.com

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4042260 History: Received August 30, 2018; Revised December 06, 2018

Abstract

Ultrasonic metal welding is used in the automotive industry for a wide variety of joining applications including batteries and automotive wire harnessing. During electric vehicle battery pack assembly, the battery cell tab and busbar are ultrasonically welded. Quality inspection of these welds is important to ensure durable packs. A method for inspection of ultrasonic welds is proposed using pulsed infrared thermography in conjunction with electrical resistance measurements to assess the structural and electrical weld integrity. The heat source distribution was calculated to obtain thermal images with high temporal and spatial resolution. All defective welds were readily identifiable using three post-process analyses: pixel counting, gradient image, and knurl pattern assessment. A positive relationship between pixel count and mechanical strength was observed. The results demonstrate the potential of pulsed thermography for inline inspection to assess weld integrity.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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