Structural health monitoring (SHM) and nondestructive evaluation (NDE) deals with the nondestructive inspection of defects, corrosion, leaks in engineering structures by using ultrasonic guided waves. In the past, simplistic structures were often considered for analyzing the guided wave interaction with the defects. In this study, we focused on more realistic and relatively complicated structure for detecting any defect by using a non-contact sensing approach. A plate with a stiffener was considered for analyzing the guided wave interactions. Piezoelectric wafer active transducers were used to produce excitation in the structures. The excitation generated the multimodal guided waves (aka Lamb waves) that propagate in the plate with stiffener. The presence of stiffener in the plate generated scattered waves. The direct wave and the additional scattered waves from the stiffener were experimentally recorded and studied. These waves were considered as a pristine case in this research. A fine horizontal semi-circular crack was manufactured by using electric discharge machining in the same stiffener. The presence of crack in the stiffener produces additional scattered waves as well as trapped waves. These scattered waves and trapped wave modes from the cracked stiffener were experimentally measured by using a scanning laser Doppler vibrometer (SLDV). These waves were analyzed and compared with that from the pristine case. The analyses suggested that both size and shape of the horizontal crack may be predicted from the pattern of the scattered waves. Different features (reflection, transmission, and mode-conversion) of the scattered wave signals are analyzed. We found direct transmission feature for incident A0 wave mode and modeconversion feature for incident S0 mode are most suitable for detecting the crack in the stiffener. The reflection feature may give a better idea of sizing the crack.
Acoustic emission (AE) monitoring technique is a well-known approach in the field of NDE/SHM. AE monitoring from the defect formation and failure in the materials were well studied by the researchers. However, conventional AE monitoring techniques are predominantly based on statistical analysis. In this study we focus on understanding the AE waveforms from the fatigue crack growth using physics based approach. The growth of the fatigue crack causes the acoustic emission in the material that propagates in the structure. One of the main challenges of this approach is to develop the physics based understanding of the AE source itself. The acoustic emission happens not only from the crack growth but also from the interaction of the crack lips during fatigue loading of the materials. As the waveforms are generated from the AE event, they propagate and create local vibration modes along the crack faces. Fatigue experiments were performed to generate the fatigue cracks. Several test specimens were used in the fatigue experiments and corresponding AE waveforms were captured. The AE waveforms were analyzed and distinguished into different groups based on the similar nature on both time domain and frequency domain. The experimental results are explained based on the physical observation of the specimen.
Lamb wave propagation is at the center of attention of researchers for structural health monitoring of thin walled structures. This is due to the fact that Lamb wave modes are natural modes of wave propagation in these structures with long travel distances and without much attenuation. This brings the prospect of monitoring large structure with few sensors/actuators. However the problem of damage detection and identification is an “inverse problem” where we do not have the luxury to know the exact mathematical model of the system. On top of that the problem is more challenging due to the confounding factors of statistical variation of the material and geometric properties. Typically this problem may also be ill posed. Due to all these complexities the direct solution of the problem of damage detection and identification in SHM is impossible. Therefore an indirect method using the solution of the “forward problem” is popular for solving the “inverse problem”. This requires a fast forward problem solver. Due to the complexities involved with the forward problem of scattering of Lamb waves from damages researchers rely primarily on numerical techniques such as FEM, BEM, etc. But these methods are slow and practically impossible to be used in structural health monitoring. We have developed a fast and accurate analytical forward problem solver for this purpose. This solver, CMEP (complex modes expansion and vector projection), can simulate scattering of Lamb waves from all types of damages in thin walled structures fast and accurately to assist the inverse problem solver.
Acoustic emission (AE) caused by the growth of fatigue crack were well studied by researchers. Conventional approaches predominantly are based on statistical analysis. In this study we focus on identifying geometric features of the crack from the AE signals using physics based approach. One of the main challenges of this approach is to develop a physics of materials based understanding of the generation and propagation of acoustic emissions due to the growth of a fatigue crack. As the geometry changes due to the crack growth, so does the local vibration modes around the crack. Our aim is to understand these changing local vibration modes and find possible relation between the AE signal features and the geometric features of the crack. Finite element (FE) analysis was used to model AE events due to fatigue crack growth. This was done using dipole excitation at the crack tips. Harmonic analysis was also performed on these FE models to understand the local vibration modes. Experimental study was carried out to verify these results. Piezoelectric wafer active sensors (PWAS) were used to excite cracked specimen and the local vibration modes were captured using laser Doppler vibrometry. The preliminary results show that the AE signals do carry the information related to the crack geometry.
Non-destructive testing methods based on ultrasonic waves are one of the most popular methods for damage detection in structures. Of these ultrasonic waves Lamb waves are of particular interest for the inspection of large structures for various reasons. Therefore scattering of Lamb waves from flaws has generated a considerable amount of research over last couple of decades. Most of the work has been done using computational tools like Finite Element Methods and experimental technique. In this paper an analytical approach is presented to develop a fundamental understanding of the scattering of Lamb waves from geometric discontinuities in 2 dimensions. We have considered simplest of all geometric discontinuity – a step, as this fundamental understanding can easily be extended to corrosion or crack.