Ultrasonic methods have been extensively developed in nondestructive testing for various materials and components. However, accurately extracting quantitative information about defects still remains challenging, especially for complex structures. Although the immersion technique is commonly used for complex-shaped parts, the large mismatch of acoustic impedance between water and metal prevents effective ultrasonic transmission and leads to a low signal-to-noise ratio(SNR). In this paper, a quantitative imaging method is proposed for complex-shaped parts based on an ice-coupled full waveform inversion (FWI) method. Numerical experiments were carried out to quantitatively inspect the various defects in a turbine blade. Firstly, the k-space pseudospectral method was applied to simulate ice-coupled ultrasonic testing for the turbine blade. The recorded full wavefields were then applied for a frequency-domain FWI based on the Limited-memory Broyden–Fletcher–Goldfarb–Shanno (L-BFGS) method. With a carefully selected iterative number and frequency, a successive-frequency FWI can well detect half wavelength defects. Extended studies on an open notch with different orientations and multiple adjacent defects proved its capability to detect different types of defects. Finally, an uncertainty analysis was conducted with inaccurate initial velocity models with a relative error of ±2%, demonstrating its robustness even with a certain inaccuracy. This study demonstrates that the proposed method has a high potential to inspect complex-shaped structures with an excellent resolution.
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