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Sensors 2017, 17(12), 2705; doi:10.3390/s17122705

Experimental Investigation on the Detection of Multiple Surface Cracks Using Vibrothermography with a Low-Power Piezoceramic Actuator

College of Mechanical and Electronic Engineering, China University of Petroleum, Qingdao 266580, China
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77004, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 October 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 20 November 2017 / Published: 23 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials and Applications for Sensors and Transducers)
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Vibrothermography often employs a high-power actuator to generate heat on a specimen to reveal damage, however, the high-power actuator brings inconvenience to the application and possibly introduces additional damage to the inspected objects. This study uses a low-power piezoceramic transducer as the actuator of vibrothermography and explores its ability to detect multiple surface cracks in a metal part. Experiments were conducted on a thin aluminum beam with three cracks in different orientations. Detailed analyses of both thermograms and temperature data are presented to validate the proposed vibrothermography method. To further investigate the performance of the proposed vibrothermography method, we experimentally studied the effects of several critical factors, including the amplitude of excitation signal, specimen constraints, relative position between the transducer and cracks (the transducer is mounted on the same or the opposite side with the cracks). The results demonstrate that all cracks can be detected conveniently and simultaneously by using the proposed low-power vibrothermography. We also found that the magnitude of excitation signal and the specimen constraints have a great influence on detection results. Combined with effective data processing methods, such as Fourier transformation employed in this study, the proposed method provides a promising potential to detect multiple cracks on a metal surface in a safe and effective manner. View Full-Text
Keywords: vibrothermography; multiple cracks detection; lower power actuator; piezoceramic actuator vibrothermography; multiple cracks detection; lower power actuator; piezoceramic actuator

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Xu, C.; Xie, J.; Zhang, W.; Kong, Q.; Chen, G.; Song, G. Experimental Investigation on the Detection of Multiple Surface Cracks Using Vibrothermography with a Low-Power Piezoceramic Actuator. Sensors 2017, 17, 2705.

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