Benchmarking of Nondestructive Testing for Additive Manufacturing

Valdemar R. Duarte, Tiago A. Rodrigues, Miguel A. Machado, João P. M. Pragana, Pedro Pombinha, Luísa Coutinho, Carlos M. A. Silva, Rosa M. Miranda, Carley Goodwin, Daniel E. Huber, João P. Oliveira, Telmo G. Santos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Defect detection in additive manufacturing (AM) is of paramount importance to improve the reliability of products. Nondestructive testing is not yet widely used for defect detection. The main challenges are a lack of standards and methods, the types and location of defects, and the complex geometry of many parts. During selective laser melting (SLM), several types of defects can occur such as porosity, cracking, and lack of fusion. In this study, several nondestructive tests were conducted in a highly complex shaped part in AISI 316L stainless steel with real defects manufactured by SLM. Two additional artificial defects (one horizontal and one flat bottom hole) were produced and the defect detectability was evaluated. The techniques used were as follows: dye penetrant, infrared thermography, immersion ultrasonic, eddy current, and X-ray microcomputed tomography to assess different types of defects in the as-built part. We conclude that no single technique can detect every type of defect, although multiple techniques provide complementary and redundant information to critically evaluate the integrity of the parts. This approach is fundamental for improving the reliability of defect detection, which will help expand the potential for using AM to produce parts for critical structural applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-270
Number of pages8
Journal3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • nondestructive testing
  • powder bed fusion
  • selective laser melting
  • thermography
  • X-ray μCT


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