The Development of a Rapid Virtual Testing Technique

Recently, an alternative to physical testing has been investigated in the past few years to use a virtual qualification process. This particular process will include 3D X-Ray imaging to produce micro-accurate digital replicas of components. These will include and highlight any flaws through manually processing and virtually assessing each component to determine how will it performs.

Despite the research into what could be an extremely beneficial tool, Virtual Testing is incredibly time-consuming due to manually adding each component, before the testing can even take place. This segment of the process could take many weeks to finish.

New software tools have been researched by The Swansea-led project, which includes the UK Atomic Energy Authority, Nikon Metrology, Synopsys, Diamond Light Source, TWI and the Airbus Defence. The project aims to use the software to make this technique more feasible for the industrial sector by automating the virtual qualification process which in turn will speed the process up.

The leader of the Swansea Project, Dr Llion Evans, said “Virtual qualification can be a big boost for manufacturing industry. But to make it worth companies’ while using it on their production lines, it has to be quick enough to work on the large scale they need.” Evans said that “the group hopes to reduce the time needed from weeks to hours.”

The research and testing of the virtual qualification will be carried out over five years alongside the UK Atomic Energy Authority where the testing on heat exchange components will be completed.

Photo Credit: The Engineer





March 9, 2018



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