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Title: A study on the near-field interactions of ultrasonic surface waves with surface-breaking defects
Author: Clough, A. R.
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis is concerned with the detection of surface-breaking defects, such as stress corrosion cracking, using an ultrasonic scanning approach in which a laser source and detector are scanned over the near-field of a defect. Large increases in the amplitude and frequency content of an incident ultrasonic wave are present when either the source or the detector is very close to the defect, leading to a phenomenon known as ultrasonic near-field enhancement. The extent of the ultrasonic enhancement varies with defect characteristics such as defect depth and angle to the surface. Ultrasonic enhancement is observed in both experiment and finite element simulations using Rayleigh waves for both scanning laser detection and scanning laser source methods. The near-field enhancement is shown to vary as a function of the angle of the defect to the horizontal for Rayleigh wave enhancements, allowing the positioning and characterisation of artificial angled defects that are similar to rolling contact fatigue defects in railtrack. The mechanisms behind the near-field enhancement of Rayleigh waves at angled defects are identified, and this aids in the understanding of the behaviour of ultrasound as it interacts with surface-breaking defects. Ultrasonic enhancements are also reported to be present in individual Lamb wave modes for interactions with artificial open-mouthed defects in thin plates, which are similar to the open end of stress corrosion defects. The mechanisms behind both the scanning laser detection and scanning laser source enhancements are identified and used to explain the variation in the enhancement as a function of increasing defect severity. Positioning of these defects is also achieved by identification of the enhancement location. Finally, the scanning laser technique is applied to real stress-driven defects, and both scanning approaches are shown to be capable of detecting partially-closed defects in a variety of sample geometries. The position, geometric alignment and an estimate of the defect depth are obtained for real defects in thin plates, pipework sections and in irregularly shaped engine components.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: European Research Council (ERC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QC Physics ; T Technology (General)