Laser ultrasonic inspection of additive manufactured components

  • Geo DavisEmail author
  • Romesh Nagarajah
  • Suresh Palanisamy
  • Rizwan Abdul Rahman Rashid
  • Prabhu Rajagopal
  • Krishnan Balasubramaniam


Additively manufactured components are gaining popularity in aerospace, automotive and medical engineering applications. Additive manufacturing (AM) offers tremendous cost advantages over traditional manufacturing methods. However, inter- and intra-layer defects are observed in AM components. Moreover, the lack of appropriate testing methods for assessing the integrity of AM components deters its use, despite the several functional advantages it has to offer. Non-destructive testing (NDT) forms the most common and convenient way of inspecting parts. In this paper, a laser ultrasonic technique for the inspection of AM components is proposed. The results demonstrate laser ultrasonic testing (LUT) as a promising method for the non-contact inspection of additive manufactured components. Furthermore, the results were validated using X-ray computed tomography (CT) and ultrasonic immersion testing (UIT). The sample used in this study was manufactured through selective laser melting (SLM) AM process with built-in holes representing defects.


Additive manufacturing Non-destructive testing Laser ultrasonic Computed tomography Ultrasonic immersion testing Selective laser melting 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.



The authors wish to thank Mr. Varun Kannaiyan and Mr. Siddharth Gopalakrishnan from CNDE, Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM), India, for their assistance with computed tomography and ultrasonic immersion C-scan tests. The authors wish to thank Mr. Girish Thipperudrappa and Mr. Krzysztof Stachowicz from Swinburne University of Technology (SUT), Melbourne, Australia, for their assistance with laser ultrasonic testing. The authors acknowledge the support of the Defence Materials Technology Centre (DMTC), Melbourne, Australia. The lead author in this study was supported in an academic exchange visit to SUT, Australia, through an IITM-SUT MoU.


  1. 1.
    Huang SH, Liu P, Mokasdar A, Hou L (2013) Additive manufacturing and its societal impact: a literature review. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 67(5):1191–1203. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Sames WJ, List FA, Pannala S, Dehoff RR, Babu SS (2016) The metallurgy and processing science of metal additive manufacturing. Int Mater Rev 61(5):315–360. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Frazier WE (2014) Metal additive manufacturing: a review. J Mater Eng Perform 23(6):1917–1928. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Uriondo A, Esperon-Miguez M, Perinpanayagam S (2015) The present and future of additive manufacturing in the aerospace sector: a review of important aspects. P I Mech Eng G-J Ae r 229(11):2132–2147. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Petrovic V, Vicente Haro Gonzalez J, Jordá Ferrando O, Delgado Gordillo J, Ramón Blasco Puchades J, Portolés Griñan L (2011) Additive layered manufacturing: sectors of industrial application shown through case studies. Int J Prod Res 49(4):1061–1079. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gao W, Zhang Y, Ramanujan D, Ramani K, Chen Y, Williams CB, Wang CCL, Shin YC, Zhang S, Zavattieri PD (2015) The status, challenges, and future of additive manufacturing in engineering. Comput Aided Des 69:65–89. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Melchels FPW, Domingos MAN, Klein TJ, Malda J, Bartolo PJ, Hutmacher DW (2012) Additive manufacturing of tissues and organs. Prog Polym Sci 37(8):1079–1104. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Giannatsis J, Dedoussis V (2009) Additive fabrication technologies applied to medicine and health care: a review. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 40(1):116–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Rosenthal I, Stern A, Frage N (2014) Microstructure and mechanical properties of AlSi10Mg parts produced by the laser beam additive manufacturing (AM) technology. Metallogr Microstruct. Anal 3(6):448–453. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Tammas-Williams S, Todd I (2016) Design for additive manufacturing with site-specific properties in metals and alloys. Scr Mater 135:105–110. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Bauereiß A, Scharowsky T, Körner C (2014) Defect generation and propagation mechanism during additive manufacturing by selective beam melting. J Mater Process Technol 214(11):2522–2528. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ahsan MN, Bradley R, Pinkerton AJ (2011) Microcomputed tomography analysis of intralayer porosity generation in laser direct metal deposition and its causes. J Laser Appl 23(2):022009. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Li R, Liu J, Shi Y, Wang L, Jiang W (2012) Balling behavior of stainless steel and nickel powder during selective laser melting process. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 59(9):1025–1035CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Teng C, Pal D, Gong H, Zeng K, Briggs K, Patil N, Stucker B (2017) A review of defect modeling in laser material processing. Addit Manuf 14:137–147. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Clijsters S, Craeghs T, Buls S, Kempen K, Kruth JP (2014) In situ quality control of the selective laser melting process using a high-speed, real-time melt pool monitoring system. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 75(5):1089–1101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Gong H, Rafi K, Gu H, Starr T, Stucker B (2014) Analysis of defect generation in Ti–6Al–4V parts made using powder bed fusion additive manufacturing processes. Addit Manuf 1-4:87–98. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Perraud JB, Obaton AF, Bou-Sleiman J, Recur B, Balacey H, Darracq F, Guillet JP, Mounaix P (2016) Terahertz imaging and tomography as efficient instruments for testing polymer additive manufacturing objects. Appl Opt 55(13):3462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Everton SK, Hirsch M, Stravroulakis P, Leach RK, Clare AT (2016) Review of in-situ process monitoring and in-situ metrology for metal additive manufacturing. Mater Des 95:431–445. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hernandez-Valle F, Dutton B, Edwards RS (2014) Laser ultrasonic characterisation of branched surface-breaking defects. NDT E Int 68:113–119. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Strantza M, Aggelis DG, de Baere D, Guillaume P, van Hemelrijck D (2015) Evaluation of SHM system produced by additive manufacturing via acoustic emission and other NDT methods. Sensors 15(10):26709–26725. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Berumen S, Bechmann F, Lindner S, Kruth JP, Craeghs T (2010) Quality control of laser- and powder bed-based additive manufacturing (AM) technologies. Phys Procedia 5(Part B):617–622CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Furumoto T, Alkahari MR, Ueda T, Aziz MSA, Hosokawa A (2012) Monitoring of laser consolidation process of metal powder with high speed video camera. Phys Procedia 39:760–766CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Islam M, Purtonen T, Piili H, Salminen A, Nyrhilä (2013) Temperature profile and imaging analysis of laser additive manufacturing of stainless steel. Phys Procedia 41:835–842CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Lott P, Schleifenbaum H, Meiners W, Wissenbach K, Hinke C, Bültmann J (2011) Design of an optical system for the in situ process monitoring of selective laser melting (SLM). Phys Procedia 12(Part A):683–690CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Mireles J, Terrazas C, Gaytan SM, Roberson DA, Wicker RB (2015) Closed-loop automatic feedback control in electron beam melting. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 78(5):1193–1199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Heim K, Bernier F, Pelletier R, Lefebvre LP (2016) High resolution pore size analysis in metallic powders by X-ray tomography. Case Stud Nondestruct Test Eval 6:45–52. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Pelivanov I, Ambroziński Ł, Khomenko A, Koricho EG, Cloud GL, Haq M, O’Donnell M (2016) High resolution imaging of impacted CFRP composites with a fiber-optic laser-ultrasound scanner. Photoacoustics 4(2):55–64. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Scruby CB, Drain LE (1990) Laser ultrasonics: techniques and applications. CRC Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Santospirito SP, Łopatka R, Cerniglia D, Słyk K, Luo B, Panggabean D, Rudlin J Defect detection in laser powder deposition components by laser thermography and laser ultrasonic inspections. In: Proceedings of the SPIE 2013. pp 86111N–86111N-86110Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Cerniglia D, Scafidi M, Pantano A, Rudlin J (2015) Inspection of additive-manufactured layered components. Ultrasonics 62:292–298. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Everton S, Dickens P, Tuck C, Dutton B Evaluation of laser ultrasonic testing for inspection of metal additive manufacturing. In: Proceedings of the SPIE, laser 3D manufacturing II 2015. pp 935316–935316–935318.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Davis G, Nagarajah R, Palanisamy S, Rajagopal P, Balasubramaniam K, Rashid RAR Inspection of additive manufactured components using laser ultrasound. In: 17th Australian International Aerospace Congress: AIAC 2017. 2017. Engineers Australia, Royal Aeronautical SocietyGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Raguvarun K, Balasubramaniam K, Rajagopal P, Palanisamy S, Nagarajah R, Hoye N, Curiri D, Kapoor A (2015) A study of internal structure in components made by additive manufacturing process using 3 D X-ray tomography. AIP Conf Proc 1650(1):146–155. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geo Davis
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Romesh Nagarajah
    • 2
  • Suresh Palanisamy
    • 2
    • 3
  • Rizwan Abdul Rahman Rashid
    • 2
    • 3
  • Prabhu Rajagopal
    • 1
  • Krishnan Balasubramaniam
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Non-Destructive Evaluation, Department of Mechanical EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology MadrasChennaiIndia
  2. 2.Faculty of Science, Engineering and TechnologySwinburne University of TechnologyMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Defence Materials Technology CentreHawthornAustralia

Personalised recommendations