Non-destructive testing

Ultrasonic methods

Ultrasonic methods are some of the most frequently used methods for non-destructive testing. Fraunhofer IKTS combines years of experience in materials testing with unique capabilities in the field of ultrasonic technologies. As a developer of industrial ultrasonic testing systems, Fraunhofer IKTS offers sensors, testing electronics, software, simulation and modeling services, and an accredited test lab for validation and verification of ultrasonic methods – which truly makes it a one-stop shop for ultrasonics.

© Fraunhofer IKTS
Microshaping of fine-scaled piezoceramics for high-frequency ultrasonic transducers.
© Fraunhofer IKTS
Acoustic emission sensor for active and passive structure monitoring.
© Fraunhofer IKTS
PCUS®pro Multi for automated ultrasonic testing.

Ultrasonic sensors

At the heart of every testing system are the sensors. Fraunhofer IKTS develops sensors optimally adapted to the given geometries, materials, and acoustic parameters.

Technical details

  • High-performance ultrasonic transducers for use on fiberreinforced composites (high- and low-frequency, focused/ unfocused, single-element or segmented)
  • Dice-and-fill composites
  • Soft-mold composites for frequencies of 5–30 MHz with max. transducer dimensions of 10 x 10 mm
  • Screen-printed ultrasonic transducers for mass-produced compact sensor systems with 5–30 MHz and max. transducer dimensions of 100 x 100 mm
  • Focused ultrasonic phased array probes
  • High-sensitivity phased array probes
  • High-frequency probes (100–250 MHz)
  • High-temperature probes (up to 200 °C)
  • Acoustic emission sensors

Further information


Ultrasonic electronics

To get the full potential out of the sensors, Fraunhofer IKTS offers the PCUS® pro series of powerful modular electronics. The portfolio extends from simple manual ultrasonic testers to fully automated ultrasonic testing systems.

Technical details

  • Modular and customizable
  • Compact and energy-efficient
  • Meets respectively relevant parts of ultrasonics standard DIN EN 12668
  • Suitable for single oscillators as well as single- and multichannel testing electronics up to arrays
    (up to 128:128)

Further information


Ultrasonic software

Software has become fundamental to the development of testing systems for industrial application. It must be innovative and quickly available without compromising flexibility to allow future changes and extensions. PCUS® pro Lab is a modular software suite that quickly and flexibly creates solutions for the given testing task. The software supports parameterization for actuator and sensor control, visualization, and evaluation. Data organization and management take place in the flexibly adaptable revision system. In addition, the suite can be fully integrated into existing manufacturing concepts within the scope of Industry 4.0.

Technical details

  • Intuitive operation via a modern, accessible, and easily adaptable user interface
  • Professional implementation of customer-specific requirements through a modular parameterization, test procedure, and analysis concept
  • Mapping of complex test requirements to any geometries
  • Real-time display of volume images during data acquisition
© Fraunhofer IKTS
Mobile testing system for wheel set shafts with longitudinal bores using electronics and software from Fraunhofer IKTS (source: Arxes-Tolina).

Simulation and modeling

Nowadays simulation techniques are essential for optimizing ultrasonic testing systems and developing new measurement methods. They enable the physical plausibility of a method to be tested and the best possible measurement and probe parameters to be determined even before the first measurement setup is actually realized. This saves time and money in the development and leads to testing systems with clearly improved performance parameters.

Technical details

  • Numerical ultrasonic solver (EFIT) developed in-house
  • Wave physics simulation
  • Consideration of diffraction, interference, mode conversion, multiple scattering, etc.
  • I sotropic and anisotropic, homogeneous and heterogeneous materials
  • Solids and liquid media
  • 2D and 3D models
  • Time signals, wavefield snapshots, video animations

Services offered

  • Development of customer-specific sensors
  • Measurement and characterization of probes
  • Development of software for special applications up to complete
    testing systems conforming to DIN EN 12668
  • Development of testing electronics for simple manual testing
    systems up to automated ultrasonic testing systems
  • Development of user-specific simulation tools
  • Scientific consulting with simulation-supported feasibility
    and optimization studies
  • Interpretation of results
  • Demonstration and training