Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Reinhold Ludwig, Advisor

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Diran Apelian, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Fred J. Looft, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Sergey N. Makarov, Committee Member




"Despite its maturity, the powder metallurgy (PM) fabrication process continues to rely heavily on indirect methods to determine and predict the quality of its compacts early in the manufacturing line. Currently, the most comprehensive testing is performed on sintered parts, resulting in higher cost and increased waste. This dissertation addresses the need of early inspection by developing a novel approach whereby PM compacts are tested in the green-state without intrusion and with minimal cost per compact tested. The method is based on an infrared detection scheme with two fundamental embodiments. For high resolution applications, or offline testing, an active thermography approach is adopted; electric energy is deposited into the compact in a contact-less fashion to evaluate all parts for cracks, inclusions, or delaminations. As an alternative, for lower resolution high-yield applications, a system based on a passive thermography approach is developed. This system relies on residual heating emanating from the process. Thermal data is then collected and analyzed in an effort to yield part integrity and process stability information. In this dissertation we will discuss our design approach, theoretical modeling aspects, and a proof-of-concept instrument with associated data processing software. We will first describe the underlying physical principles, followed by predictions from the modeling formulation, including a solution of the heat equation. As part of our experimental data processing, we will present results that are collected both in a laboratory setting and in an industrial manufacturing line. The integrity of the compacts is carried out with the aid of a specialized software package."


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Electrical & Computer Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





thermography, infrared imaging, nondestructive evaluations, powder metallurgy, ndt