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Embedded Ultrasonic Nondestructive Evaluation: Challenges and Solutions

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Physical Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2022) | Viewed by 8241

Special Issue Editors

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA
Interests: composite modeling; nondestructive evaluation; structural health monitoring; ultrasonic guided waves; finite element modeling
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Embedded ultrasonic nondestructive evaluation (e-NDE) is an NDE method which utilizes embedded ultrasonic transducers that are permanently attached to the structure and can be interrogated on-demand, i.e., active structural health monitoring (SHM). With the remarkable progress that has been made in embedded ultrasonic NDE development, considerable work remains to be done, such as the refining of the theoretical analysis and calibration against well planned experiments, developing novel acoustic sensors for industrial and commercial applications, addressing the operational and environmental variations to deploy e-NDE techniques for in-service structures, developing signal analysis methods to achieve a probability of detection, and developing novel imaging algorithms to quantify the damage detection. Papers on topics including but not limited to one or several of the following aspects will be considered for publication:

  • Theory, modeling, and simulation;
  • Guided wave actuation and detection;
  • Acoustic sensors for industrial and commercial applications;
  • Novel signal processing methods;
  • Damage detection under operational and environmental variations;
  • Guided-wave damage interaction analysis;
  • Imaging algorithms for damage quantification;
  • Damage detection in composite structures.

Prof. Dr. Victor Giurgiutiu
Dr. Hanfei Mei
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Nondestructive evaluation (NDE)
  • Structural health monitoring (SHM)
  • Ultrasonic guided wave
  • Wave–damage interaction
  • Sensors
  • Predictive analysis
  • Damage detection and characterization
  • Probability of detection
  • Impact detection
  • Novel applications

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

28 pages, 29216 KiB  
Article
Scattered Ultrasonic Guided Waves Characterized by Wave Damage Interaction Coefficients: Numerical and Experimental Investigations
by Christoph Humer, Simon Höll, Christoph Kralovec and Martin Schagerl
Sensors 2022, 22(17), 6403; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22176403 - 25 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1412
Abstract
The present paper comprehensively investigates the complex interaction between ultrasonic guided waves and local structural discontinuities, such as damages, through highly sensitive features: so-called wave damage interaction coefficients (WDICs). These WDICs are unique for each structural discontinuity and depend solely on their characteristics [...] Read more.
The present paper comprehensively investigates the complex interaction between ultrasonic guided waves and local structural discontinuities, such as damages, through highly sensitive features: so-called wave damage interaction coefficients (WDICs). These WDICs are unique for each structural discontinuity and depend solely on their characteristics for a given structure and condition. Thus, they can be particularly useful for advanced assessment of lightweight structures in the context of non-destructive evaluation and structural health monitoring. However, the practical application of WDICs entails significant difficulties due to their sensitivity and complex patterns. Therefore, this study attempts to guide researchers and practitioners in the estimation of WDICs from numerical simulations and physical experiments. Detailed investigations are made for an aluminum host plate modified by artificial structural discontinuities, i.e., surface-bonded steel sheets. The numerical simulations are performed to predict WDICs and study sensitivities using a sophisticated finite element model. The experimental setup uses piezoelectric transducers to excite guided waves in the host plate. A single scanning laser Doppler vibrometer measures the scattered guided waves caused by the surface-bonded steel sheets, and the resulting WDICs with possible influences are investigated. In both cases, the orientation and thickness of the attached steel sheets were varied to create 12 different damage scenarios. In general, the comparison between numerical and experimental WDICs show good agreement. This underpins the applicability of the general methodology for simulating and measuring WDICs over all scenarios. Furthermore, the WDIC scattering patterns reveal a clear dependency of the peaks in the back-scattered reflections for both the numerical and experimental amplitude coefficients on the damage orientation, basically following the law of reflection. However, some discrepancies between both studies were observed. Numerical sensitivity analysis identified the adhesive layer as one reason for such differences. Additionally, misalignment errors in the experimental measurements were also found to affect WDICs. Therefore, an improved baseline subtraction method is proposed, which clearly enhances the experimental WDICs. Finally, an experimental sensitivity study of WDICs for selected sensing radii revealed only a minor influence. All these investigations were made for the amplitude as well as the phase representation of WDICs. Thus, these findings may open the way to future research and development of techniques employing WDICs for advanced applications of non-destructive evaluation and structural health monitoring. Full article
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20 pages, 9316 KiB  
Article
Multi-Mode Ultrasonic Guided Waves Based Damage Detection in L-Bars with Asymmetric Cross-Section with Sum of Multiple Signals Method
by Zhengyan Yang, Jiaqi Zhang, Kehai Liu, Yuebin Zheng, Shuyi Ma and Zhanjun Wu
Sensors 2022, 22(3), 922; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22030922 - 25 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2242
Abstract
Bars are significant load-carrying components in engineering structures. In particular, L-bars are typical structural components commonly used in truss structures and have typical irregular asymmetric cross-sections. To ensure the safety of load-carrying bars, much research has been done for non-destructive testing (NDT). Ultrasonic [...] Read more.
Bars are significant load-carrying components in engineering structures. In particular, L-bars are typical structural components commonly used in truss structures and have typical irregular asymmetric cross-sections. To ensure the safety of load-carrying bars, much research has been done for non-destructive testing (NDT). Ultrasonic guided waves have been widely applied in various NDT techniques for bars as a result of the long-range propagation, low attenuation, and high sensitivity to damages. Though good for inspection of ultrasonic guided waves in symmetric cross-section bar-like structures, the application in asymmetric ones lacks further research. Moreover, traditional damage detection in bars using ultrasonic guided waves usually depends on a single-mode at a lower frequency with lower sensitivity and accuracy. To make full use of all frequencies and modes, a multi-mode characteristic-based damage detection method is presented with the sum of multiple signals (SoM) strategy for L-bars with asymmetric cross-section. To control the desired mode in multi-mode ultrasonic guided waves, excitation optimization and weighted gathering are carried out by the analysis of the semi-analytical finite element (SAFE) method and the normal mode expansion (NME) method. An L-bar example with the asymmetric cross-section of 35 mm × 20 mm × 3 mm is used to specialize the proposed method, and some finite element (FE) models have been simulated to validate the mode control. In addition, one PZT is applied as a contrast in order to validate the multielement mode control. Then, more FE simulations experiments for damage detection have been performed to validate the damage detection method and verify the improvement in detection accuracy and damage sensitivity. Full article
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15 pages, 6867 KiB  
Article
Monitoring Hardening Behavior of Cementitious Materials Using Contactless Ultrasonic Method
by Jinyoung Hong and Hajin Choi
Sensors 2021, 21(10), 3421; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21103421 - 14 May 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1894
Abstract
We propose a novel contactless ultrasonic method for monitoring the hardening behavior of cementitious materials. The goal of this method is to obtain high-quality data to compare the unique hardening process between rapid setting cement (RSC) and ordinary Portland cement (OPC) mortars without [...] Read more.
We propose a novel contactless ultrasonic method for monitoring the hardening behavior of cementitious materials. The goal of this method is to obtain high-quality data to compare the unique hardening process between rapid setting cement (RSC) and ordinary Portland cement (OPC) mortars without physical coupling to the surface of the specimens. To monitor the hardening behavior of cementitious materials, conventional approaches use contact or embedded-type sensors, which limit field application. Our solution is to measure leaky Rayleigh waves at the interface between air and cementitious materials, which allows for the estimation of the physical state of the medium in real time. The modulus development was back-calculated based on the increment of wave velocity using the developed sensor array and transform-based signal processing. We experimentally demonstrated that the proposed method possibly exhibits unique hardening information about flash setting, effects of a retarder, and modulus increments from RSC specimens. Full article
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17 pages, 3700 KiB  
Article
Compensation of a Second Harmonic Wave Included in an Incident Ultrasonic Wave for the Precise Measurement of the Acoustic Nonlinearity Parameter
by Dong-Gi Song, Sungho Choi, Taehyeon Kim and Kyung-Young Jhang
Sensors 2021, 21(9), 3203; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21093203 - 05 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1795
Abstract
The incident second harmonic wave is a problematic issue for the precise measurement of the acoustic nonlinearity parameter. This paper proposes a compensation method to remove the effect of the incident second harmonic component in the measurement of the absolute acoustic nonlinearity parameter [...] Read more.
The incident second harmonic wave is a problematic issue for the precise measurement of the acoustic nonlinearity parameter. This paper proposes a compensation method to remove the effect of the incident second harmonic component in the measurement of the absolute acoustic nonlinearity parameter using the calibration method. For this, the second harmonic component detected by the receiving transducer is considered as the sum of the component due to material nonlinearity and the component included in the incident signal and a numerical calculation model is developed as a function of the propagation distance. In the model, the factors related to the material nonlinear parameter and the magnitude of the incident second harmonic component are unknown and these are determined by finding a value that best matches the experimental data according to the change in the propagation distance; compensation for the incident second harmonic component is then achieved. The case where the phase of the second harmonic wave due to material nonlinearity is opposite to that of the fundamental wave is also considered. To verify the validity of the proposed method, fused silica and aluminum alloy Al6061-T6 specimens with different thicknesses corresponding to the propagation distance are tested. The experimental results show that the nonlinear parameters changed significantly according to the propagation distance before compensation but were very stable after compensation. Additionally, the average values of the nonlinear parameter are 11.04 in the fused silica, which is within the literature value range (10.1 to 12.4), and that for the Al6061-T6 is 6.59, which is close to the literature value range (4.5 to 6.12). Full article
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