Vibrational methods applied to NDT testing and fluid density measurement
A system for the NDI' testing of the integrity of conposite materials and of adhesive bonds has been developed to meet industrial requirements. The vibration techniques used were found to be applicable to the development of fluid measuring transducers. The vibrational spectra of thin rectangular bars were used for the NDT work. A machined cut in a bar had a significant effect on the spectrum but a genuine crack gave an unambiguous response at high amplitudes. This was the generation of fretting crack noise at frequencies far above that of the drive. A specially designed vibrational decrement meter which, in effect, measures mechanical energy loss enabled a numerical classification of material adhesion to be obtained. This was used to study bars which had been flame or plasma sprayed with a variety of materials. It has become a useful tool in optimising coating methods. A direct industrial application was to classify piston rings of high performance I.C. engines. Each consists of a cast iron ring with a channel into which molybdenum, a good bearing surface, is sprayed. The NDT classification agreed quite well with the destructive test normally used. The techniques and equipment used for the NOT work were applied to the development of the tuning fork transducers investigated by Hassan into commercial density and viscosity devices. Using narrowly spaced, large area tines a thin lamina of fluid is trapped between them. It stores a large fraction of the vibrational energy which, acting as an inertia load reduces the frequency. Magnetostrictive and piezoelectric effects together or in combination enable the fork to be operated through a flange. This allows it to be used in pipeline or 'dipstick' applications. Using a different tine geometry the viscosity loading can be predoninant. This as well as the signal decrement of the density transducer makes a practical viscometer.