This article presents a review of air-coupled ultrasonics employed in the characterization or nondestructive inspection of industrial materials. Developments in air-coupled transduction and electronics are briefly treated, although the emphasis here is on methods of characterization and inspection, and in overcoming limitations inherent in the use of such a tenuous sound coupling medium as air. The role of Lamb waves in plate characterization is covered, including the use of air-coupled acoustic beams to measure the elastic and/or viscoelastic properties of a material. Air-coupled acoustic detection, when other methods are employed to generate high-amplitude sound beams is also reviewed. Applications to civil engineering, acoustic tomography, and the characterization of both paper and wood are dealt with here. A brief summary of developments in air-coupled acoustic arrays and the application of air-coupled methods in nonlinear ultrasonics complete the review. In particular, the work of Professor Bernard Hosten and his collaborators at Bordeaux is carefully examined.
The application of temperature compensation strategies is important when using a guided wave structural health monitoring system. It has been shown by different authors that the influence of changing environmental and operational conditions, especially temperature, limits performance. This paper quantitatively describes two different methods to compensate for the temperature effect, namely optimal baseline selection (OBS) and baseline signal stretch (BSS). The effect of temperature separation between baseline time-traces in OBS and the parameters used in the BSS method are investigated. A combined strategy that uses both OBS and BSS is considered. Theoretical results are compared, using data from two independent long-term experiments, which use predominantly mode and mode data respectively. These confirm that the performance of OBS and BSS quantitatively agrees with predictions and also demonstrate that the combination of OBS and BSS is a robust practical solution to temperature compensation.
► Wavefield imaging using scanning laser vibrometers and air-coupled UT transducers. ► Wavenumber domain representation of guided wavefields for modal characterization. ► Frequency/wavenumber filtering for mode separation and incident wave removal. ► Application to damage detection in metallic and composite specimens. Full wavefield measurements obtained with either an air-coupled transducer mounted on a scanning stage or a scanning laser vibrometer can be combined with effective signal and imaging processing algorithms to support characterization of guided waves as well as detection, localization and quantification of structural damage. These wavefield images contain a wealth of information that clearly shows details of guided waves as they propagate outward from the source, reflect from specimen boundaries, and scatter from discontinuities within the structure. The analysis of weaker scattered waves is facilitated by the removal of source waves and the separation of wave modes, which is effectively achieved via frequency–wavenumber domain filtering in conjunction with the subsequent analysis of the resulting residual signals. Incident wave removal highlights the presence and the location of weak scatterers, while the separation of individual guided wave modes allows the characterization of their separate contribution to the scattered field and the evaluation of mode conversion phenomena. The effectiveness of these methods is demonstrated through their application to detection of a delamination in a composite plate and detection of a crack emanating from a hole.
In this review we address the microscopic mechanisms that are involved in the photogeneration processes of GHz–THz coherent acoustic phonons (CAP) induced by an ultrafast laser pulse. Understanding and describing the underlying physics is necessary indeed for improving the future sources of coherent acoustic phonons useful for the non-destructive testing optoacoustic techniques. Getting more physical insights on these processes also opens new perspectives for the emerging field of the opto-mechanics where lattice motions (surface and/or interfaces ultrafast displacements, nanostructures resonances) are controlled by light. We will then remind the basics of electron–phonon and photon-phonon couplings by discussing the deformation potential mechanism, the thermoelasticity, the inverse piezoelectric effect and the electrostriction in condensed matter. Metals, semiconductors and oxide materials will be discussed. The contribution of all these mechanisms in the photogeneration process of sound will be illustrated over several examples coming from the rich literature.
► We present a method of analyzing guided wavefield data for the purpose of characterizing damage in composite laminates. ► Local wavenumber is measured throughout the wavefield. ► Performance of the method is evaluated as applied to numerical data. ► Wavenumber measurements of experimental wavefields show good agreement with theory. ► Non-contact measurement of wavenumber permits characterization of delamination depth in composite laminates. Delaminations in composite laminates resulting from impact events may be accompanied by minimal indication of damage at the surface. As such, inspections are required to ensure defects are within allowable limits. Conventional ultrasonic scanning techniques have been shown to effectively characterize the size and depth of delaminations but require physical contact with the structure and considerable setup time. Alternatively, a non-contact scanning laser vibrometer may be used to measure guided wave propagation in the laminate structure generated by permanently bonded transducers. A local Fourier domain analysis method is presented for processing guided wavefield data to estimate spatially dependent wavenumber values, which can be used to determine delamination depth. The technique is applied to simulated wavefields and results are analyzed to determine limitations of the technique with regards to determining defect size and depth. Based on simulation results, guidelines for application of the technique are developed. Finally, experimental wavefield data is obtained in quasi-isotropic carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) laminates with impact damage. The recorded wavefields are analyzed and wavenumber is measured to an accuracy of up to 8.5% in the region of shallow delaminations. These results show the promise of local wavenumber domain analysis to characterize the depth of delamination damage in composite laminates. The technique can find application in automated vehicle health assurance systems with potential for high detection rates and greatly reduced operator effort and setup time.
Carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) composites have been intensively used in various industries due to their superior properties. In aircraft and aerospace industry, a large number of holes are required to be drilled into CFRP components at final stage for aircraft assembling. There are two major types of methods for hole making of CFRP composites in industry, twist drilling and its derived multi-points machining methods, and grinding and its related methods. The first type of methods are commonly used in hole making of CFRP composites. However, in recent years, rotary ultrasonic machining (RUM), a hybrid machining process combining ultrasonic machining and grinding, has also been successfully used in drilling of CFRP composites. It has been shown that RUM is superior to twist drilling in many aspects. However, there are no reported investigations on comparisons between RUM and grinding in drilling of CFRP. In this paper, these two drilling methods are compared in five aspects, including cutting force, torque, surface roughness, hole diameter, and material removal rate.
► Broadband and narrowband chirp excitations are used to excite guided waves in plates. ► Broadband chirps are useful to efficiently acquire multiple tone burst responses. ► Narrowband chirps are useful to achieve high SNR from a single acquisition. ► We recommend that chirps be routinely used for guided wave measurements. Most ultrasonic guided wave methods require tone burst excitations to achieve some degree of mode purity while maintaining temporal resolution. In addition, it is often desirable to acquire data using multiple frequencies, particularly during method development when the best frequency for a specific application is not known. However, this process is inconvenient and time-consuming, particularly if extensive signal averaging at each excitation frequency is required to achieve a satisfactory signal-to-noise ratio. Both acquisition time and data storage requirements may be prohibitive if responses from many narrowband tone burst excitations are measured. Here chirp excitations are utilized to address the need to both test at multiple frequencies and achieve a high signal-to-noise ratio to minimize acquisition time. A broadband chirp is used to acquire data at a wide range of frequencies, and deconvolution is applied to extract multiple narrowband responses. After optimizing the frequency and duration of the desired tone burst excitation, a long-time narrowband chirp is used as the actual excitation, and the desired tone burst response is similarly extracted during post-processing. Results are shown that demonstrate the efficacy of both broadband and narrowband chirp excitations.
► Results for wave propagation in lightweight concrete (LWC) are presented. ► The compressive strength of LWC is assessed by the ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV). ► The influence of different mix design parameters is analyzed. ► A simplified expression to estimate the compressive strength from UPV is suggested. ► High correlation coefficients are obtained, regardless the concrete composition. In this paper the compressive strength of a wide range of structural lightweight aggregate concrete mixes is evaluated by the non-destructive ultrasonic pulse velocity method. This study involves about 84 different compositions tested between 3 and 180 days for compressive strengths ranging from about 30 to 80 MPa. The influence of several factors on the relation between the ultrasonic pulse velocity and compressive strength is examined. These factors include the cement type and content, amount of water, type of admixture, initial wetting conditions, type and volume of aggregate and the partial replacement of normal weight coarse and fine aggregates by lightweight aggregates. It is found that lightweight and normal weight concretes are affected differently by mix design parameters. In addition, the prediction of the concrete’s compressive strength by means of the non-destructive ultrasonic pulse velocity test is studied. Based on the dependence of the ultrasonic pulse velocity on the density and elasticity of concrete, a simplified expression is proposed to estimate the compressive strength, regardless the type of concrete and its composition. More than 200 results for different types of aggregates and concrete compositions were analyzed and high correlation coefficients were obtained.
The paper describes the use of synthetic aperture (SA) imaging in medical ultrasound. SA imaging is a radical break with today’s commercial systems, where the image is acquired sequentially one image line at a time. This puts a strict limit on the frame rate and the possibility of acquiring a sufficient amount of data for high precision flow estimation. These constrictions can be lifted by employing SA imaging. Here data is acquired simultaneously from all directions over a number of emissions, and the full image can be reconstructed from this data. The paper demonstrates the many benefits of SA imaging. Due to the complete data set, it is possible to have both dynamic transmit and receive focusing to improve contrast and resolution. It is also possible to improve penetration depth by employing codes during ultrasound transmission. Data sets for vector flow imaging can be acquired using short imaging sequences, whereby both the correct velocity magnitude and angle can be estimated. A number of examples of both phantom and in vivo SA images will be presented measured by the experimental ultrasound scanner RASMUS to demonstrate the many benefits of SA imaging.
A dedicated modeling technique for comprehending nonlinear characteristics of ultrasonic waves traversing in a fatigued medium was developed, based on a retrofitted constitutive relation of the medium by considering the nonlinearities originated from material, fatigue damage, as well as the “breathing” motion of fatigue cracks. Piezoelectric wafers, for exciting and acquiring ultrasonic waves, were integrated in the model. The extracted nonlinearities were calibrated by virtue of an acoustic nonlinearity parameter. The modeling technique was validated experimentally, and the results showed satisfactory consistency in between, both revealing: the developed modeling approach is able to faithfully simulate fatigue crack-incurred nonlinearities manifested in ultrasonic waves; a cumulative growth of the acoustic nonlinearity parameter with increasing wave propagation distance exists; such a parameter acquired via a sensing path is nonlinearly related to the offset distance from the fatigue crack to that sensing path; and neither the incidence angle of the probing wave nor the length of the sensing path impacts on the parameter significantly. This study has yielded a quantitative characterization strategy for fatigue cracks using embeddable piezoelectric sensor networks, facilitating deployment of structural health monitoring which is capable of identifying small-scale damage at an embryo stage and surveilling its growth continuously.
► A new formulation for localizing acoustic sources in large plates is presented. ► Knowledge of the wave velocity in isotropic or anisotropic plate is not required. ► Need to know either direction or frequency dependent wave velocity is avoided. ► Only four sensors needed for isotropic plate and six for anisotropic plate. The conventional triangulation technique cannot locate the acoustic source in an anisotropic plate because this technique requires the wave speed to be independent of the propagation direction which is not the case for an anisotropic plate. All methods proposed so far for source localization in anisotropic plates require either the knowledge of the direction dependent velocity profile or a dense array of sensors. In this paper for the first time a technique is proposed to locate the acoustic source in large anisotropic plates with the help of only six sensors without knowing the direction dependent velocity profile in the plate. Experimental results show that the proposed technique works for both isotropic and anisotropic structures. For isotropic plates the required number of sensors can be reduced from 6 to 4.
This study aims to build a deep learning (DL) architecture for automated extraction of learned-from-data image features from the shear-wave elastography (SWE), and to evaluate the DL architecture in differentiation between benign and malignant breast tumors. We construct a two-layer DL architecture for SWE feature extraction, comprised of the point-wise gated Boltzmann machine (PGBM) and the restricted Boltzmann machine (RBM). The PGBM contains task-relevant and task-irrelevant hidden units, and the task-relevant units are connected to the RBM. Experimental evaluation was performed with five-fold cross validation on a set of 227 SWE images, 135 of benign tumors and 92 of malignant tumors, from 121 patients. The features learned with our DL architecture were compared with the statistical features quantifying image intensity and texture. Results showed that the DL features achieved better classification performance with an accuracy of 93.4%, a sensitivity of 88.6%, a specificity of 97.1%, and an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.947. The DL-based method integrates feature learning with feature selection on SWE. It may be potentially used in clinical computer-aided diagnosis of breast cancer.
This article presents a parallel algorithm to model the nonlinear dynamic interactions between ultrasonic guided waves and fatigue cracks. The Local Interaction Simulation Approach (LISA) is further developed to capture the contact-impact clapping phenomena during the wave crack interactions based on the penalty method. Initial opening and closure distributions are considered to approximate the 3-D rough crack microscopic features. A Coulomb friction model is integrated to capture the stick-slip contact motions between the crack surfaces. The LISA procedure is parallelized via the Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA), which enables parallel computing on powerful graphic cards. The explicit contact formulation, the parallel algorithm, as well as the GPU-based implementation facilitate LISA’s high computational efficiency over the conventional finite element method (FEM). This article starts with the theoretical formulation and numerical implementation of the proposed algorithm, followed by the solution behavior study and numerical verification against a commercial finite element code. Numerical case studies are conducted on Lamb wave interactions with fatigue cracks. Several nonlinear ultrasonic phenomena are addressed. The classical nonlinear higher harmonic and DC response are successfully captured. The nonlinear mode conversion at a through-thickness and a half-thickness fatigue crack is investigated. Threshold behaviors, induced by initial openings and closures of rough crack surfaces, are depicted by the proposed contact LISA model.
This paper investigates various types of coded waveforms that could be used for air-coupled ultrasound, using a pulse compression approach to signal processing. These are needed because of the low signal-to-noise ratios that are found in many air-coupled ultrasonic nondestructive evaluation measurements, due to the large acoustic mismatch between air and many solid materials. The various waveforms, including both swept-frequency signals and those with binary modulation, are described, and their performance in the presence of noise is compared. It is shown that the optimum choice of modulation signal depends on the bandwidth available and the type of measurement being made.
This article compares four different biopsy needle localization algorithms in both 3D and 4D situations to evaluate their accuracy and execution time. The localization algorithms were: Principle component analysis (PCA), random Hough transform (RHT), parallel integral projection (PIP) and ROI-RK (ROI based RANSAC and Kalman filter). To enhance the contrast of the biopsy needle and background tissue, a line filtering pre-processing step was implemented. To make the PCA, RHT and PIP algorithms comparable with the ROI-RK method, a region of interest (ROI) strategy was added. Simulated and ex-vivo data were used to evaluate the performance of the different biopsy needle localization algorithms. The resolutions of the sectorial and cylindrical volumes were 0.3 mm × 0.4 mm × 0.6 mm and 0.1 mm × 0.1 mm × 0.2 mm (axial × lateral × azimuthal) respectively. In so far as the simulation and experimental results show, the ROI-RK method successfully located and tracked the biopsy needle in both 3D and 4D situations. The tip localization error was within 1.5 mm and the axis accuracy was within 1.6 mm. To the best of our knowledge, considering both localization accuracy and execution time, the ROI-RK was the most stable and time-saving method. Normally, accuracy comes at the expense of time. However, the ROI-RK method was able to locate the biopsy needle with high accuracy in real time, which makes it a promising method for clinical applications.
This paper presents a new acoustic emission (AE) source localization for isotropic plates with reflecting boundaries. This approach that has no blind spot leverages multimodal edge reflections to identify AE sources with only a single sensor. The implementation of the proposed approach involves three main steps. First, the continuous wavelet transform (CWT) and the dispersion curves of the fundamental Lamb wave modes are utilized to estimate the distance between an AE source and a sensor. This step uses a modal acoustic emission approach. Then, an analytical model is proposed that uses the estimated distances to simulate the edge-reflected waves. Finally, the correlation between the experimental and the simulated waveforms is used to estimate the location of AE sources. Hsu-Nielsen pencil lead break (PLB) tests were performed on an aluminum plate to validate this algorithm and promising results were achieved. Based on these results, the paper reports the statistics of the localization errors.
A new class of multifunctional nanoparticles that combine properties of polymeric drug carriers, ultrasound imaging contrast agents, and enhancers of ultrasound-mediated drug delivery has been developed. At room temperature, the developed systems comprise perfluorocarbon nanodroplets stabilized by the walls made of biodegradable block copolymers. Upon heating to physiological temperatures, the nanodroplets convert into nano/microbubbles. The phase state of the systems and bubble size may be controlled by the copolymer/perfluorocarbon volume ratio. Upon intravenous injections, a long-lasting, strong and selective ultrasound contrast is observed in the tumor volume indicating nanobubble extravasation through the defective tumor microvasculature, suggesting their coalescence into larger, highly echogenic microbubbles in the tumor tissue. Under the action of tumor-directed ultrasound, microbubbles cavitate and collapse resulting in a release of the encapsulated drug and dramatically enhanced intracellular drug uptake by the tumor cells. This effect is tumor-selective; no accumulation of echogenic microbubbles is observed in other organs. Effective chemotherapy of the MDA MB231 breast cancer tumors has been achieved using this technique.
Ultrasonic pulse velocity technique is one of the most popular non-destructive techniques used in the assessment of concrete properties. However, it is very difficult to accurately evaluate the concrete compressive strength with this method since the ultrasonic pulse velocity values are affected by a number of factors, which do not necessarily influence the concrete compressive strength in the same way or to the same extent. This paper deals with the analysis of such factors on the velocity–strength relationship. The relationship between ultrasonic pulse velocity, static and dynamic Young’s modulus and shear modulus was also analyzed. The influence of aggregate, initial concrete temperature, type of cement, environmental temperature, and w/c ratio was determined by our own experiments. Based on the experimental results, a numerical model was established within the Matlab programming environment. The multi-layer feed-forward neural network was used for this purpose. The paper demonstrates that artificial neural networks can be successfully used in modelling the velocity–strength relationship. This model enables us to easily and reliably estimate the compressive strength of concrete by using only the ultrasonic pulse velocity value and some mix parameters of concrete.
Cavitation microstreaming plays a role in the therapeutic action of microbubbles driven by ultrasound, such as the sonoporative and sonothrombolytic phenomena. Microscopic particle–image velocimetry experiments are presented. Results show that many different microstreaming patterns are possible around a microbubble when it is on a surface, albeit for microbubbles much larger than used in clinical practice. Each pattern is associated with a particular oscillation mode of the bubble, and changing between patterns is achieved by changing the sound frequency. Each microstreaming pattern also generates different shear stress and stretch/compression distributions in the vicinity of a bubble on a wall. Analysis of the micro-PIV results also shows that ultrasound-driven microstreaming flows around bubbles are feasible mechanisms for mixing therapeutic agents into the surrounding blood, as well as assisting sonoporative delivery of molecules across cell membranes. Patterns show significant variations around the bubble, suggesting sonoporation may be either enhanced or inhibited in different zones across a cellular surface. Thus, alternating the patterns may result in improved sonoporation and sonothrombolysis. The clear and reproducible delineation of microstreaming patterns based on driving frequency makes frequency-based pattern alternation a feasible alternative to the clinically less desirable practice of increasing sound pressure for equivalent sonoporative or sonothrombolytic effect. Surface divergence is proposed as a measure relevant to sonoporation.
Cutting force is one of the most important output variables in rotary ultrasonic machining (RUM) of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) composites. Many experimental investigations on cutting force in RUM of CFRP have been reported. However, in the literature, there are no cutting force models for RUM of CFRP. This paper develops a mechanistic predictive model for cutting force in RUM of CFRP. The material removal mechanism of CFRP in RUM has been analyzed first. The model is based on the assumption that brittle fracture is the dominant mode of material removal. CFRP micromechanical analysis has been conducted to represent CFRP as an equivalent homogeneous material to obtain the mechanical properties of CFRP from its components. Based on this model, relationships between input variables (including ultrasonic vibration amplitude, tool rotation speed, feedrate, abrasive size, and abrasive concentration) and cutting force can be predicted. The relationships between input variables and important intermediate variables (indentation depth, effective contact time, and maximum impact force of single abrasive grain) have been investigated to explain predicted trends of cutting force. Experiments are conducted to verify the model, and experimental results agree well with predicted trends from this model.