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Coatings 2019, 9(2), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9020146

Analysis of Linear Non-Destructive Testing and Evaluation Methods for Thin-Walled Structure Inspection Using Ultrasonic Array

School of Mechanical Engineering and Automation, Beihang University, Beijing 100083, China
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Received: 20 January 2019 / Revised: 16 February 2019 / Accepted: 18 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Nondestructive Evaluation and Characterization of Surface)
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Abstract

The ultrasonic array used for thin-walled structure non-destructive inspection usually has a high central frequency so that the thickness-to-acoustic wavelength ratio is greater than 10. When the ratio is much smaller than 10, the reliability of the conventional ultrasonic array method will dramatically decrease due to the influence of the acoustic near-field. This situation is unavoidable since the available central frequency of the array transducer cannot be an arbitrarily large value. To optimize the inspection performance in this case, the testing of an ultrasonic array and the evaluation of a structure whose thickness is smaller than five-times the longitudinal wavelength are analyzed in this paper. Linear ultrasonic array methods using different combinations of wave patterns, reflection times, and coupling conditions are uniformly expressed as full matrix algorithms. Simulated and experimental full matrices of 6 mm-thick aluminum plates using a 5-MHz array transducer are captured to analyze their imaging performances and sizing abilities with respect to various defects. Analyses show that the inspection results of the wedge coupling method have a much higher signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) than the results of conventional direct contact methods. Circular defects and rectangular defects can be distinguished by comparing the imaging results of different modes. For the simulated circular defect, the diameter can be measured according to the maximum image amplitude of the defect. To simulate a rectangular defect located in the lower half of the region, the nominal length can be measured using a linear function whose input is a −6 dB drop in length of the SS-S mode image. For a real sample, the material anisotropy and complex self-reflections will decrease the SNR by about 10 dB. View Full-Text
Keywords: ultrasonic array; full matrix; multi-mode total focusing method; thin-walled structure ultrasonic array; full matrix; multi-mode total focusing method; thin-walled structure
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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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Li, Y.; Zhou, Z.; Wang, J. Analysis of Linear Non-Destructive Testing and Evaluation Methods for Thin-Walled Structure Inspection Using Ultrasonic Array. Coatings 2019, 9, 146.

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