Nonlinear Interaction Between Ultrasonic Waves and Cracks and Interfaces

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH

Abstract: The subject of this thesis is the development of new ultrasound inspection techniques for detection of cracks that are smaller than the wavelength of the inspecting wave and the characterization of cracks in fluid-filled pipes as either surface-breaking or subsurface.The spectrum of the scattered field of a partially closed crack comprises harmonic components not expected to be found in the case of linear scatterers such as pores or inclusions. Paper A presents an experimental investigation into the linear reflection and generation of the 2nd harmonic component following the incidence of an ultrasonic wave onto a dry or water-confining interface formed by elasto-plastic steel-steel surfaces in contact. The results indicate that water has an unexpected effect on the reflection, at low interfacial pressures, suggesting that fluid mediated forces play a role not accounted for in current models. The level of the generation of the 2nd harmonic measured provides support for further development of the technique for detection of dry, partially closed cracks or fluid-filled, nearly open cracks.A theoretical model describing the nonlinear scattering of acoustic waves by surface-breaking cracks with faces in partial contact is presented in Paper B. Both linear and nonlinear response of the crack are shown to be the largest for a SV wave incident on the surface containing the crack at an angle just above the critical angle for longitudinal waves.A method which provides information on whether a fracture is surface-breaking or subsurface has been modelled and its optimal experimental set-up examined in Paper C. The main assumption of the model is that water carried by pressurized pipes infiltrates and fills a surface-breaking crack, while a subsurface crack is dry. The model simulates an inspection in which the modulation technique is employed and the surface hosting the crack is not accessible. A parameter, constructed with signals recorded in backscattering configuration during a modulation cycle, is examined and shown to provide a clear criterion to distinguish subsurface from surface-breaking cracks when a SV wave at 45 degree incidence is employed as a probe.Finally, in Paper D the modulation technique is experimentally tested on steel beams that host surface-breaking fatigue cracks. The method is shown to be a successful tool to distinguish a dry from a fluid-filled crack. Furthermore, it is revealed that the dynamics of the fluid needs to be accounted for in a more accurate simulation tool.

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