A method for determining the quality of an examined weld joint comprising the steps of providing acoustical data from the examined weld joint, and performing a neural network operation on the acoustical data determine the quality of the examined weld joint produced by a friction weld process. The neural network may be trained by the steps of providing acoustical data and observable data from at least one test weld joint, and training the neural network based on the acoustical data and observable data to form a trained neural network so that the trained neural network is capable of determining the quality of a examined weld joint based on acoustical data from the examined weld joint. In addition, an apparatus having a housing, acoustical sensors mounted therein, and means for mounting the housing on a friction weld device so that the acoustical sensors do not contact the weld joint. The apparatus may sample the acoustical data necessary for the neural network to determine the quality of a weld joint.
GOVERNMENT INTEREST STATEMENT
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-36 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the management and operation of the Los Alamos National Laboratory.