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30 March 2009 Defect detection in stiffened plate structures using coupled Rayleigh-like waves
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The use of coupled Rayleigh-like waves in aluminum plates has been investigated with a view towards applications for the non-destructive inspection of aircraft structures. Such waves can be generated using standard Rayleigh wave transducers at frequencies, so that the Rayleigh wavelength corresponds to approximately half the plate thickness. The Rayleigh-like wave, which can be interpreted as the superposition of the fundamental Lamb modes, transfers energy between both surfaces with a characteristic distance called the beatlength. Experimentally the reflected wave can be measured using either standard pulse-echo equipment or a laser vibrometer. The energy transfer between the plate surfaces results in a good sensitivity for the detection of small defects on both surfaces. Using a combination of evaluation in the time and frequency domain, the defect location and damaged plate side can be accurately determined. Due to the beating phenomenon, the Rayleigh-like wave can propagate past regions with surface defects or features. This allows for the remote detection of defects in areas where access is restricted by structural features, such as stiffeners and stringers. This has been shown experimentally and verified from Finite Difference simulations.
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B. Masserey and P. Fromme "Defect detection in stiffened plate structures using coupled Rayleigh-like waves", Proc. SPIE 7292, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2009, 72920L (30 March 2009);

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