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Sensors 2017, 17(8), 1825; doi:10.3390/s17081825

Influence of the Spatial Dimensions of Ultrasonic Transducers on the Frequency Spectrum of Guided Waves

Prof. K.Baršauskas Ultrasound Research Institute, Kaunas University of Technology, K. Baršausko St. 59, LT-51423 Kaunas, Lithuania
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 June 2017 / Revised: 3 August 2017 / Accepted: 4 August 2017 / Published: 8 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensor Technologies for Health Monitoring of Composite Structures)
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Ultrasonic guided wave (UGW)-based condition monitoring has shown great promise in detecting, localizing, and characterizing damage in complex systems. However, the application of guided waves for damage detection is challenging due to the existence of multiple modes and dispersion. This results in distorted wave packets with limited resolution and the interference of multiple reflected modes. To develop reliable inspection systems, either the transducers have to be optimized to generate a desired single mode of guided waves with known dispersive properties, or the frequency responses of all modes present in the structure must be known to predict wave interaction. Currently, there is a lack of methods to predict the response spectrum of guided wave modes, especially in cases when multiple modes are being excited simultaneously. Such methods are of vital importance for further understanding wave propagation within the structures as well as wave-damage interaction. In this study, a novel method to predict the response spectrum of guided wave modes was proposed based on Fourier analysis of the particle velocity distribution on the excitation area. The method proposed in this study estimates an excitability function based on the spatial dimensions of the transducer, type of vibration, and dispersive properties of the medium. As a result, the response amplitude as a function of frequency for each guided wave mode present in the structure can be separately obtained. The method was validated with numerical simulations on the aluminum and glass fiber composite samples. The key findings showed that it can be applied to estimate the response spectrum of a guided wave mode on any type of material (either isotropic structures, or multi layered anisotropic composites) and under any type of excitation if the phase velocity dispersion curve and the particle velocity distribution of the wave source was known initially. Thus, the proposed method may be a beneficial tool to explain and predict the response spectrum of guided waves throughout the development of any structural health monitoring system. View Full-Text
Keywords: structural health monitoring; ultrasonic guided wave excitation; excitability function; frequency response; MFC transducer structural health monitoring; ultrasonic guided wave excitation; excitability function; frequency response; MFC transducer

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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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Samaitis, V.; Mažeika, L. Influence of the Spatial Dimensions of Ultrasonic Transducers on the Frequency Spectrum of Guided Waves. Sensors 2017, 17, 1825.

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