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Ultrasonic Lamb wave NDE system using an air coupled concave array transducer

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8 Author(s)
Garcia-Hernandez, M.J. ; Departament d''Enginyeria Electronica, Univ. Politecnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain ; Chavez, J.A. ; Yanez, Y. ; Kichou, H.B.
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Rapid and non contact ultrasonic NDE techniques are of great industrial interest. This paper describes an air-coupled ultrasonic inspection system based on concave linear arrays working on pitch-catch configuration, The system has been designed for real-time characterisation of sheet and plate manufactured materials such as paper and resin-fibre composites. The proposed system is based on air-coupled Lamb wave excitation and reception that performs a rapid measurement of the optimum input angle of the incident beam impinging the material surface. No mechanical parts are used for tuning the plate wave excitation with the angle, doing that electronically by steering the acoustic beam. This solution increases the exploration velocity and the measurement repeatability and system reliability. The main contributions are related to the utilization of a 0.8 MHz ultrasonic air-coupled concave array transducer. This transducer, using only 32 elements, is able to generate a 2.5 square cm size flat wavefront, steering up to ±26 degrees with 1.6 degree resolution, keeping the distance of wave flight and the impact point constant. The angular resolution can be improved up to 0.2 degrees using a novel micro-deflection technique, without any increment of the system complexity.

Published in:

Ultrasonics Symposium, 2004 IEEE  (Volume:2 )

Date of Conference:

23-27 Aug. 2004