Imported: 10 Mar '17 | Published: 27 Nov '08
USPTO - Utility Patents
The present invention is connected with the holographic interferometry method and device that provides, to a very high precision, the reconstructing the original waveform of light emitted or reflected by an object. This method allows image resolution close to that of the wavelength of the light being used. The non-destructive method of holographic interferometry coupled with impulse heating of the test article to allow observation of its dynamic response to operating conditions, as described herein, is one of the most effective non-contact automated quality control methods available.
Claims priority of Provisional Patent Application No. 60/930,601.
Filed May 17, 2007
The present invention relates to electrical engineering, and in particular to the field of physical non-destructive, testing of energy generating and storage device components during and after manufacture, and can be used to determine defects in batteries, supercapacitors, solar cells and fuel cells, and especially in thermal batteries and solid oxide fuel cells.
In multi-component structures such as those that comprise energy generation and storage devices such as batteries, supercapacitors, fuel cells, solar cells, and the like, components with defects or abnormal features or flaws can adversely affect the properties of the assembled device. As a result, the performance and service life of such devices can be significantly reduced (for example, by degraded capacity). Such defective devices often fail prematurely. Quality control of battery components is especially important since these devices are increasingly used to power expensive mission critical equipment.
Holographic interferometry is a method of reconstructing to a very high precision the original waveform of light emitted or reflected by an object. This method allows image resolution close to that of the wavelength of the light being used. The non-destructive method of holographic interferometry coupled with impulse heating of the test article to allow observation of its dynamic response to operating conditions, as described below, is the one of most effective non-contact automated quality control methods available.
To perform holographic interferometry, the most common technique is to allow coherent light (such as laser light) to fall on an object. The reflected light is then combined with a reference beam of the original light to produce an interference pattern that projected onto a piece of film, or recorded by a CCD (charge-coupled device) and read into a computer. By passing a beam of the same wavelength as the beam used to record the hologram, the image thus obtained may be re-projected.
Holographic interferometry was first used to study fluid flow around objects of varying profiles (see Tim McIntyre's introduction). After passing the laser beam through a splitter, one beam of the laser light is passed through the flow to be studied, and the other beam is diverted around the flow chamber. The two beams are then re-combined in the manner described above; producing an interference pattern from which the forms of the fluid flow may be reconstructed.
The method has several advantages, one of these being that it can determine the response of a device to the kinds of changes in environmental or operating conditions that can indicate flaws or defects that may not be apparent in more standardized tests. For example, and as described below as an advantage of the present invention, the method of holographic interferometry can precisely determine the physical response of battery electrodes to small temperature changes. Such a response can indicate whether the battery electrode is properly formed and installed into the battery.
The non-destructive method of holographic interferometry as described below is a precise and effective method and tool for automated non-contact quality control.
Holographic Interferometer is designed for determination of through and non-through the-thickness cracks and foreign inclusions, heterogeneousness of mechanical characteristics and the thickness irregularity of electrode plates and solid electrolytes of the thermal batteries by holographic interferometry method.
One objective of the present invention is to evaluate the homogeneity and isotropy for thin ring-shaped electrodes and associated solid electrolyte. Holographic interferometry with local thermal loading of the sample was developed to assess electrode homogeneity and quality.
The purpose is to investigate the effectiveness of various types of thermal loading of electrodes in the process of holographic flaw detection.
The main objectives of the invention are:
In the course of developing the method and apparatus of the present invention, the following types of the thermal loading sources were studied:
By means of optical lenses and a system of masks we have shown that it is possible to provide both a uniform heating of the whole electrode surface and a uniform circular heating close to its inner or outer contour. A general view of the apparatus used to achieve and apply these heating modes is shown in FIG. 1.
The present invention comprises the following steps. By means of holographic interferometer, holograms of the initial state of component's surface (the plates of anode, cathode or electrolyte the thermal batteries) are recorded and sent to a computer for storage and analysis.
The optical system is designed to create the extra-axial holographic scheme. The system consists of optical elements, (mirror, lens, optical wedge) secured by fastening devices mounted on a vibration free table, and allows for the adjustments of the optical elements.
The system works as follows. (FIG. 14). The laser beam 1 by help of an optical wedge 2 is divided into two beams. The first beam (subject) by help of lenses 3 and 4 will be transformed into a wide bunch which after reflection from tested object 8 gets on the recording cell 9 of the RTHRS. The second beam (basic) after reflection from mirrors 6, 7 extends with a lens 5 and gets on a recording cell 9 of the RTHRS. Fastening devices of optical elements provide their rigid fastening on a vibration free optical table 10, and also the possibility of adjusting operations.
As the laser in the interferometer could be a diode-pumped solid-state one-mode laser KLM-532/SLN-30 (DPSS) with a green spectral range (=532 v) with capacity of radiation from 0 to 30 m Wt. Laser power is 220 V, AC.@ 50 Hz. The laser has the management console with a capacity control knob and radiator.
The active element of the heated device (FIG. 16) is the infra-red lamp 1 placed in the special case 2. The interferometer case has a fan to reduce heat 3.
The fastening device (FIG. 17) for the subject consists of the demountable metal case 1 having two transparent windows 2, 3. Through window 2 the hologram recording of the subject 4 is made, through window 3, its heating is made. The top and bottom parts of the case 1 incorporate through an elastic lining 5 with the bolted-on connections 6.
The system of recording of holograms is intended for recording of holograms in real time with possibility of repeated recording and information deleting. It consists of a control console and a recording cell.
Visualization of the hologram of the subject is carried out by means of a television chamber which removes the information from the recording cell and in real time transfers it to a TV.
The method consists of making a hologram recording of the surface of the subject using the real time holographic registration system Then heat the subject T and observe the subjects interferogram in the monitor in real time.
Thus the operator sees formation of the interference fringes and dynamics of their development with growth of temperature of the subject from reference value T0 to temperature T0+T.
After the termination of heating the subject cools down and the interference fringes on the interferogram of the subject, smoothly changing, disappear. When the subject temperature accepts reference value T0, in case of absence of irreversible deformations instead of interferogram the operator will observe only the subject's hologram which means that the interference fringes completely will disappear.
Interference fringes that are observed in the course of heating of the subject, in some approach, represent lines of equal temperature moves of a surface of the subject. These moves have size, commensurable with length of a wave of radiation of the laser, which are the tenth shares and units of micrometers. Transition from the one interference fringes to the next corresponds to change of moves in corresponding points on size about 0, 2 microns.
Presence in the subject of defects like, types of cracks, foreign impurities, changes of physical mechanical and geometrical characteristics leads to that the field of moves of its surface under identical conditions of the temperature and registration interferogram differs from moves for ideal (defect less) object. Very high sensitivity of an arrangement the interference fringes to moves of a testing surface leads to that the operator can observe easily visually difference in an arrangement of fringes on tested subject in comparison with ideal (defect less). The arrangement form of the interference fringes for defect less subject can be received or settlement by, or hologram recording by obviously defect less subject.
Objects of the testing considered in a given technique represent axial-symmetric structure in the geometrical plan and under physic-mechanical characteristics. Therefore at axial-symmetric heating of object and by using axial-symmetric schemes of registration of hologram on real-time interferogram for ideal objects of the testing interference fringes should be close to coaxial circles. Their quantity is defined by heating temperature. If there are cracks, foreign impurities in object of the testing or it's thickness changes, axial symmetry of the interference fringes is broken. Presence of cracks and foreign impurities leads to rupture or sharp change of curvature of the interference fringes. Presence of smooth change of a thickness (wedge-shape) leads to change of density and infringement of the axial-symmetry of the interference fringes.
The analysis of results of the testing and the general data on the form of the interference fringes are as follow. Objects of the testing considered in a given technique represent axial-symmetric structure in the geometrical plan and under physic-mechanical characteristics. Therefore at axial-symmetric heating of object and by using axial-symmetric schemes of registration of hologram on real-time interferogram for ideal objects of the testing interference fringes should be close to coaxial circles. Their quantity is defined by heating temperature. If there are cracks, foreign impurities in object of the testing or it's thickness changes, axial symmetry of the interference fringes is broken. Presence of cracks and foreign impurities leads to rupture or sharp change of curvature of the interference fringes. Presence of smooth change of a thickness (wedge-shape) leads to change of density and infringement of the axial-symmetry of the interference fringes.
Then the test article or sample (for example, a disk-shaped electrode component) is evenly and instantaneously impulse-loaded by heating along its external radius by infrared or laser irradiation.
A more detailed description of the invention is provided by using the example of a test article comprising a disk shaped plate with the hole in the center. Three different schemes of samples loading by temperature are possible:
The power of the irradiation used is depended on the properties of the material to be heated. For example, for the anode of thermal batteries, the power would be one suitable value. The power used to heat the cathode may be another suitable value, and the power used to heat the plate of solid electrolyte could be a third suitable value. In the case of thermal batteries, these parameters are determined experimentally for each thermal battery component design. By means of optical lenses and a system of masks it is possible to provide both a uniform heating of the whole electrode surface and a uniform circular heating close to its inner or outer contour or surface.
In the some case the samples of the electrode and solid electrolyte were placed in a transparent container that was filled with argon. Then the sample was exposed to local heating by 1 to 2 degrees near the inner opening. Under the influence of thermal loading there occurred temperature-induced deformations of the sample. These deformations were registered by the non-contact method of holographic interferometry.
After a period of heating (for example T1.5 seconds) a hologram of the heat loaded component surface is recorded and the recorded information sent to a computer. Time T depends on the power of infrared or laser irradiator, thermal conductivity of the test article component material or structure of interest and its geometric size, and is determined by preliminary study in the course of development of control technique to be used.
Appearance of 10 to 15 interference bands on the interference portrait serves as criterion for the correct amount of irradiation energy or power, and irradiation time. Time duration for the various components of interest depends on the rate of propagation of the thermal front.
The sensitivity of the method used can allow detection of dimensional changes or displacements of as little as 0.03 microns. Results of the measurement are visually assessed according to the distribution of interference bands on the surface of the sample.
If a sample is homogeneous and isotropic, then lines in the pattern display a gradually changing curvature. If there are heterogeneities, these show up as local drastic changes in interference band curvature. If necessary, visual control based on the method of holographic interferometry can be automated.
Using software, two holograms (initial and loaded state) are added to one another and interference portrait of the controlled component (test article) is obtained. Then using specific algorithms, interference band shapes are analyzed (in manual mode it is done by the operator) as to the presence of sections of the controlled component that are characterized by abrupt change in interference band curvature. The screening criterion or condition for distinguishing between high-quality controlled components and defective components is set by specification. The process can be automated.
In an automated configuration on a conveyor assembly line for example, a signal is sent from the analysis unit to an executive mechanism. As a result, a given component either passes through for assembly or, if it has inadmissible flaws, is rejected from the conveyor. All operations are executed in a specially designed box in an inert atmosphere (for example, in an argon atmosphere).
The holographic interference portraits were recorded in real time by using a photo-thermoplastic recorder. Thus, a hologram of the heated object was obtained, whereupon, while watching through the cell of a photo-thermoplastic device the movement of the interference bands on the electrode surface, the distribution of the bands was recorded and transmitted into the computer by means of a digital camera. The use of the real time method permitted selection of heating times for which the density of the interference bands was optimal.
All the three of the above described methods of applying the thermal load yield similar results. That is, the defects on the electrode being studied were detected in all cases. In contrast to the local heating that had been used earlier, the axially symmetric methods of heating permitted detection of a defect on one of the electrodes in the form of a crack propagating to the outer contour of the electrode. This is evident in FIG. 2.5 as a sharp change of the curvature of the interference bands. This indicates that the thermo-mechanical properties of the electrode in this location differ from the properties in other locations, while the discontinuities of the interference bands indicate the presence of a crack in a given location.
The use of the axially symmetric method of thermal loading, on an isotropic uniform metallic plate of geometric dimensions identical of those of the electrode, yielded much better results in comparison to local loading. On an equally loaded reference electrode, the axially symmetric interference bands to be observed will be identical to those that are shown in FIG. 6, thus the process of rejecting faulty articles becomes much simpler.
To demonstrate the effectiveness of the method of the present invention, FIG. 7 shows an interference pattern portrait of a thin round plate that has intentionally created defects in the form of three radial cracks.
The holographic interference portraits were recorded on a real time scale by using a photo-thermoplastic recorder. Thus, a hologram of the heated object was obtained, whereupon, while watching through the cell of a photo-thermoplastic device the movement of the interference bands on the electrode surface, the distribution of the bands was recorded and transmitted to the computer by means of a digital camera. The use of the real time method permitted selection of the heating time at which the density of the interference bands was optimal.
A thermal battery electrode was evaluated using holographic interferometry. A test article sample was placed in a transparent container which was filled with argon. Then the sample was exposed to local heating by 1 to 2 degrees near the inner opening. Under the influence of thermal loading there occurred temperature-induced deformations of the sample.
To control for effects of experiment conditions on test results, the container with the electrode was continuously rotated in the plane normal (90 degrees) to the installation axis, its interference portrait being registered at each revolution.
The interference line images or portraits obtained are shown in FIG. 1 (a-) and FIG. 2 (a-). These portraits show local heterogeneities along the radial axis. The arrows show distortion zones of interference bands that indicate locations of electrode defects. In the center, the three yellow segments of straight lines show the position of the elements used for heating of the electrodes.
The location of heterogeneities in relation to the optical installation scheme changes with rotation. This fact confirms presence of, and points at the location of, heterogeneities in the electrodes being studied.
Electrode 3 was evaluated using holographic interferometry according to the conditions described on Example 1. The interference line images or portraits obtained are shown in FIG. 2 (a-). These portraits show local heterogeneities along the radial axis. The arrows show distortion zones of interference bands that indicate locations of defects in the electrode. In the center, three yellow segments of straight lines show spirals for heating of electrodes.
The location of heterogeneities in relation to optical installation scheme changes with rotation. This fact confirms presence of, and points at the location of, heterogeneities in the electrodes being studied.
To control the test the method used, a stainless steel plate that had geometric dimensions similar to those of the electrodes was made and tested. The result is presented on FIG. 3.
As shown in FIG. 3, the type of the interference bands displays gradually changing curvature that did not depend on the position of the plate in relation with the optical installation scheme. This is evidence of both the heterogeneity and isotropic properties of the test a stainless steel plate. It appears that the axially symmetric thermal loading of an object is the most effective for holographic flaw detection in circular-shape electrodes.
While various embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that many changes and modifications may be made without departing from the invention in its broader aspects. The appended claims are therefore intended to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.