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KiScan System Developed for Detection of Kissing Bonds


TWI joined the Friction Harmonics Project in 2018, in collaboration with project partners Vermon, iKnowHow (IKH), Coşkunöz and RISE. The aim of this Horizon 2020-funded project was to develop an automated non-linear ultrasonic testing (NLUT) system with the capability to detect unbonded joint remnants (often referred to as kissing bonds) in friction stir welds (FSW). The system was to be developed and refined by the project partners in readiness for release, using the commercial brand ‘KiScan.’

Non linear Ultrasonic Detection of Microscale Flaws in Friction Stir Welds

System Development

The Kiscan inspection system was designed, developed and performance tested throughout the FrictionHarmonics project. The system comprises of a pair of bespoke ultrasonic transducers, a touch screen scanner, a high power signal generator and specifically developed software. The scanner has an in-built encoder, 300mm travel length and an adjustable speed ranging from 0.5mm/s to 10mm/s and is capable of applying 55N of vertical force. The software enables acquisition of the received signal and real-time data processing; results are presented in a graphical user interface as a simple traffic light system to allow rapid interpretation of results.

TWI conducted performance tests of the system throughout the project, using specially manufactured unbonded joint remnant samples to understand the capabilities and limitations of the system in order to make further enhancements to the inspection system and software. The refined version of the system was demonstrated at a webinar held on 18 May 2021.

Webinar Event

A webinar with potential end-users, hosted by TWI took place on the 18 May 2021. The webinar programme comprised five high-impact presentations delivered by the project partners and included a video-based demonstration of the KiScan system. The event concluded with an interactive question and answer session, in which representatives from 58 organisations attending the webinar were able to gain further information on the Kiscan system.



The Kiscan system is now ready for CE marking and commercialisation. With the project about to close, the project partners have made an agreement with a distributor in readiness for system sales.

Contact us, below, to find out more about the KiScan system.


The Friction Harmonics / KiScan project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 820531.


Avatar Karl Chisholm Project Leader (NDE)

Karl Chisholm is a Project Leader in the Non Destructive Testing group working with ultrasonic and phased array ultrasonic inspection. He joined TWI in 2018 after gaining a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters degree in Petroleum Engineering from Teesside University. He is currently completing a part-time Masters degree in Engineering Management and Leadership at Aston University. His previous professional experience includes five years’ service as a Ground Installations Technician in the Royal Air Force.