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On the development and testing of a guided ultrasonic wave array for structural integrity monitoring

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4 Author(s)
Fromme, P. ; Dept. of Mech. Eng., Univ. Coll. London, UK ; Wilcox, P.D. ; Lowe, M.J.S. ; Cawley, P.

The prototype of a guided ultrasonic wave array for the structural integrity monitoring of large, plate-like structures has been designed, built, and tested. The development of suitably small transducers for the excitation and measurement of the first antisymmetric Lamb wave mode A/sub 0/ is described. The array design consists of a ring of 32 transducers, permanently bonded to the structure with a protective membrane, in a compact housing with the necessary multiplexing electronics. Using a phased addition algorithm with dispersion compensation and deconvolution in the wavenumber domain, a good dynamic range can be achieved with a limited number of transducers. Limitations in the transducer design and manufacture restricted the overall dynamic range achieved to 27 dB. Laboratory measurements for a steel plate containing various defects have been performed. The results for standard defects are compared to theoretical predictions and the sensitivity of the array device for defect detection has been established. Simulated corrosion pitting and a defect cut with an angle grinder simulating general corrosion were detected.

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Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:53 ,  Issue: 4 )