Online Weld Non-Destructive Evaluation using Infrared Thermography

National Laboratory: 
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Characterization Class: 
Non-destructive examination
Processing/Manufacturing Class: 

Oak Ridge National Laboratory has a unique, non-contact weld inspection technology based on infrared (IR) thermography. Developed to address specific critical demands for online non-destructive monitoring of resistance spot weld (RSW) quality and integrity in today’s crash-resistance automotive body structures that are produced in high-volume production environments, this new weld inspection technology has the potential to revolutionize welding and assembly in automotive body structures, considerably reducing the cost and scrap rate associated with current weld inspection techniques. The technology already has been licensed to industry.

Capability Bounds: 

Weld quality can be identified either in real time or post-production with 2–3 seconds in a mass production environment. This technology also can be extended to inspection of other types of welds/joints.

Unique Aspects: 

ORNL’s unique non-destructive evaluation (NDE) data analysis algorithm and weld quality database have been extensively tested on welds made from various materials. The new material database also can be extended upon request.


This technology is available for various partnership arrangements with industry.

Single Point of Contact: 

Name: Dr. Jian Chen
Phone: 865-241-4905

Supporting Document(s):