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INSPECTION OF

CASTINGS & FORGINGS

INSPECTION OF
CASTINGS & FORGINGS
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

INTRODUCTION
OVERVIEW
GENERAL INSPECT ION
PRODUCT INSPECTION
CONCLUSION

1. INTRODUCTION
It is necessary to purchase the correct products and that you will receive them.
This means that it is important to describe the requirements very clearly. These
requirements can be legal requirements, product requirements (mostly according to
international standards), company requirements (mostly described in specifications)
and wishes (mostly emotion related).
But it is a matter of describing the inspection. Some results do depend on the type of
testing (hardness according to Brinell or Vickers). These tests should be preferable
according to international standards. This can ensure the reliability of the test results.
This text will describe the general inspection, which relates to the system that is
used by the supplier.
The product inspection will describe most of the possibilities.

Ir G.D HENDERIEC KX

GIETECH BV

August 2007

INSPECTION OF
CASTINGS & FORGINGS

2. OVERVIEW
The general inspection is concerning company systems.
The product inspections are concerning:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Appearance
Dimensions
Material requirements
Section quality
Surface quality.

For both of these inspections are a lot of international standards applicable. It is


important to accustom your company to one or a few of them. This is necessary
because each inspection method will require certified operators and equipment and
skill that only can be obtained by performing the test method.

Ir G.D HENDERIEC KX

GIETECH BV

August 2007

INSPECTION OF
CASTINGS & FORGINGS

3. GENERAL INPECTION
General inspection is the system that controls all activities in a company.
That system must assure:
1. a company quality for the products
2. a consistent quality
3. a system to react on non-conformities in order to solve the problem and
assure the re-appearance of it.
The system must be known and practised by all employees. They are performing
activities and must be supervised by the system.
A good applied general inspection will assure a consistent company quality for the
products. This is important because it renders the product inspection less important.
A good system will avoid all known and experienced non-conformities.
The international system of the ISO 9000 is monitoring the general inspection
systems. It is not concerned a product but concerning the system that monitors all
activities. It is not concerned to solve a particular non-conformity but to avoid
systematically non-conformities that can re-appear.
This ISO 9000 systems do require mostly a lot of paper and a responsible, which
keeps the complete system (concerning filing, reporting) up to date.
For this reason, most of the small companies do not go for this system.
But every company, independent from its size and product, can apply a process
control system. It is based on the description of the necessary operations to obtain
the final product. This has to be done once and will be used as long as the product is
running. The paper is less than the conventional ISO-systems and does give good
results for the system as the product as well.
The system is explained in a separate text Process Control.

Ir G.D HENDERIEC KX

GIETECH BV

August 2007

INSPECTION OF
CASTINGS & FORGINGS

4. PRODUCT INSPECTION
These inspections do concern all features of the product and especially these that
are mentioned in the purchase order.
It concerns the appearance, dimensions, material requirements, section quality and
surface quality.

4.1 Appearance
This is a product quality.
This is the most disputable feature of a product. It is mostly not described by
(international accepted) standards, but sometimes specified by the customer in words
or in writing. It is an emotional quality and leads to a lot of discussions because it is
important for the customer.
The test is done visually.

4.2 Dimensions
This is a product quality.
The dimensional inspection is done according to a drawing that specifies the
dimensions of the castings or forging, indicating the tolerances.
If there is no such drawing, a machined drawing is used. This drawing indicates the
final dimensions with the indication of the tolerances on these machined dimensions.
The problem for this drawing is the size of the machining stock and the tolerances
and the rough casting or forging.
International standards are available for the tolerances. There is a need for an
agreement between customer and supplier about their validity.
The test is done with simple measuring devices and complicated 3-D test equipment.
The use of ultrasonic testing is increasing especially for difficult (location) and not
very high accurate testing.
The applicable equipment is depending on the size and tolerances of the product.

Ir G.D HENDERIEC KX

GIETECH BV

August 2007

INSPECTION OF
CASTINGS & FORGINGS
4.3 Material requirements
This is a material quality, which can be influenced by the product shape and
dimensions (for mechanical properties). The physical properties are seldom tested.
These tests for mechanical properties are the most common and international
standards do exist for all of them. All tests are performed on room temperature (+/20 C), unless otherwise stated.
The test specimen is taken (and machined) from test material that is separately
casted or attached to the casting or taken from the casting or forging. Anyhow the
test material must have been together with the casting or forging during the pouring,
deformation, cooling and heat treatment.
The following tests are common:
1. Tensile test
This test does indicate the ultimate tensile strength, the yield strength (mostly
with 0,2 % plastic deformation), and the elongation and area restriction.
The test must be performed by certified equipment.
This test can also be performed on higher temperatures. The problem is that
there are mostly no international standards for the requirements on higher
temperatures.
This test is seldom or never performed on lower temperatures due to the fact
that the properties (strength) do increase with decreasing temperature.
Elongation and restriction decrease.
2. Hardness test
There are test for hardness and micro-hardness to test the presence of
structure and carbides.
The most common are Brinell, Rockwell, Vickers, Knoop and Mohs.
The test must be performed with equipment that needs to be standardised
before each test. The operator must perform the test very frequently and
establish a test range.
3. Bending test
There are two types of bending tests.
The first test is mostly done for materials with a low ductility (also elongation
during the tensile test), as grey (flake) iron is one. A test specimen is
supported at two points and pressed in the centre to obtain a certain
distance.

Ir G.D HENDERIEC KX

GIETECH BV

August 2007

INSPECTION OF
CASTINGS & FORGINGS

The test is also performed to test the weldability of a material. A test specimen
with a weld layer is bended around an anvil for a certain degree or until the
weld is cracking or loose its bound with the base material.
4. Compression test, shear test, twisting test
These tests are not standardised and mostly not performed. The result is
calculated, starting from the ultimate tensile strength.
5. Shock resistance test
This test is done for all materials that are brittle at room and materials that
have brittle fracture at lower temperature. The materials with an austenitic
structure do not break brittle.
There are two possibilities: unnotched and notched test bar.
The unnotched test is mostly performed for materials with a low ductility at
room temperature.
The notched test is performed for materials with medium to high ductility. It is
performed at room temperature and lower temperatures.
The purpose of this test is to find the transition temperature, which is the
temperature at which the non-austenitic material does have a brittle fracture.
Austenitic material never has a brittle fracture.
There were, some decades ago, a lot of different tests. Most of them are now
replaced by the Charpy-V test.
The test equipment must be certified.
6. Fracture toughness tests
These tests are mostly performed at room temperature and will indicate the
energy or stress that is necessary for a brittle fracture or crack propagation.
The tests are not very common.
The KIC-factor is tested, indicating the stress at which the crack is not growing.
It is also used at low temperatures.
The J-integral provides similar results, based on an evaluation of stable crack
growth. It is also performed at higher temperatures.
CTOD-test is similar to the two previous ones. It is performed at room and
higher temperatures.
7. Fatigue strength
This involves test that use a lot of stress cycles in order to find the allowable
stress at which the material will not break before 106 or more test cycles.
The presence of a crack and or notch is very influencing. For this reason tests
are done with and without notch.

Ir G.D HENDERIEC KX

GIETECH BV

August 2007

INSPECTION OF
CASTINGS & FORGINGS
The stress can be due to tension, compression, bending This must be
mentioned together with the test results.
8. Creep strength
This test is measuring the permanent elongation of a material after a stay for a
certain time and with a certain stress at the mentioned temperature.
These results are important for products that stay for a long time on a high
temperature.
Sometimes physical properties are tested. The most common are:
1. Electrical conductivity
2. Magnetic properties.
The test is very particular and should be agreed in writing, concerning type of test
and test results.

4.4 Section quality


This is a product quality, which can be influenced by the material properties.
The test is looking if the material sections do have a soundness that is equal or
better than the requirements. The soundness is decreased by the presence of lack
of material (porosity, gas inclusions), cracks (open or closed cracks, flaws, folding in
forgings), inclusions (sand, slag, oxides) and structure differences.
The surface is separately discussed.
The tests can be:
1. XT (X-ray testing)
The product is radiated and a film is showing all features that decrease the
soundness of the section. It also shows the surface roughness and indications.
The problem is that it does not show a 3D-picture, which means that the
location of the non-conformity is difficult to locate unless films are made from
different angles.
The second problem is the danger of this method for the operator and other
people. It must be shielded for human beings.
The third problem is that it is costly to have the equipment in its company. If it
has to be done outside, it will cost extra time.
The advantage is that it can be used for all materials and the test results can
be consulted unlimited in time.

Ir G.D HENDERIEC KX

GIETECH BV

August 2007

INSPECTION OF
CASTINGS & FORGINGS
The operator must be certified for shooting films as well as for evaluating films.
The product film is related to standard defect films, which set the degree of
non-conformance.
2. UT (ultrasonic testing)
The product is tested with sound wave emission and the amount of waves
coming back is indicating if some non conformities are present.
The problem is that it cannot be performed on every material. The austenitic
material is difficult to test as well as the grey (flake) and malleable irons.
The other problem is that the operator is reading the result on the screen and
that there is no prove for later discussion in the form of a paper or file.
The advantage is that the equipment is not expensive and the tests can be
done everywhere.
The second advantage is that the location of the non conformance is easy to
state (with simple calculations).
The method can also be used for:
1. structure and graphite morphology testing, using the value of the
sound velocity
2. thickness measurements.
The operator must be certified as well as the equipment. Also the
standardising should be done before every test, to adapt the readings to the
proper material.
3. Pressure test
For pressurised products, it is important to check the permeability by a
pressure test.
The test is mostly done on machined or premachined products on a pressure
that is mostly 150 % the pressure at work.
For low pressure, air is used. For higher pressure a liquid (mostly water) is
used and for extreme pressure it can be oil or another liquid.
Sometimes the product is filled with liquid without pressure. The liquid is
mostly petrol or an acid.
The test requires a pressure, applied for a minimum time, indicating a
maximum pressure drop during that time.
Attention must be paid on the pressure compared to the wall thickness to
avoid accidents.
The equipment must be certified (concerning pressure testing).

Ir G.D HENDERIEC KX

GIETECH BV

August 2007

INSPECTION OF
CASTINGS & FORGINGS

4.5 Surface quality


This is a product quality, influenced by the material that can be more or less prone
to form non conformities (oxides, reactions with mould material).
The surface quality is mostly done by:
1. PT (penetrant liquid method)
The liquid penetrant method does use a penetrating fluid, which does fill every
surface non-conformity like:
1. cracks
2. surface porosity
3. open structure (irons).
It must be properly applied and a picture can be taken. The result is evaluated by the
comparison with reference pictures, provided with the standards.
The disadvantage is that it is time consuming and it uses products, which must be
removed completely after the test to avoid surface damage like corrosion.
Most of the tests are done without pictures, which anyhow must be taken on the
prescribed time to be valid.
The advantage is that it is, especially for small surface area very cheap and does not
require an investment in equipment.
The other advantage is that it can be used for all types of materials.
The operator must be certified.
2. MT (magnetic testing)
This test is used to detect non-conformities in and just below the surface. Depending
on the strength of the magnetic field, the thickness of the tested surface layer is set.
It requires a set up location that can be darkened to have a good picture of the
involved indications. The length as well as the surface of the non-conformity is
measured and evaluated with the standard descriptions.
The advantage is that it can also measure the layer below the surface and the result
is easier to evaluate for irons (materials with a loose structure).
The disadvantage is that it requires a conform location and the equipment can cost a
lot (especially the high current types for deep testing).

Ir G.D HENDERIEC KX

GIETECH BV

August 2007

INSPECTION OF
CASTINGS & FORGINGS

The operator must be certified as well as the equipment. Also the standardising
should be done before every test, to adapt the readings to the proper material.

4. Surface comparator test


ASTM A802 as well as others like SP-55, BS 7900, JIS-G0588, EN 12454, EN 1370
and ISO 11971 are using a set of comparator plates (classifying the surface in
different groups (A to J) to estimate the surface quality.
The use of these plates is better than pictures because they are showing a 3Dsurface for comparison. Anyhow some subjective evaluation is still possible.

Repair
Both methods are used for the testing of the removing of non conform material as
well as the result of the repair, mostly welding.

Ir G.D HENDERIEC KX

GIETECH BV

August 2007

10

INSPECTION OF
CASTINGS & FORGINGS

5. SUMMARY
It is important to realise that all requirements and test to evaluate them, must be
written in the purchase order or at least being agreed in writing between customer
and supplier. It is not accepted to come with new requirements and or tests after
releasing the order and acceptance by the supplier.
Use international inspection methods to evaluate the real properties with the
requirements. Be aware that nearly all tests must be performed by certified operators
using certified equipment.
Data from international accepted tests can be accepted all over the world and can be
easily retested and confirmed.
Do realise that all testing has a cost and is time consuming. This leads to the point
that no tests for properties should be required unless these properties are used by
the designer for the product and or are legally required.

Ir G.D HENDERIEC KX

GIETECH BV

August 2007

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