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Title: 3D ultrasonic imaging of surface-breaking cracks using a linear array
Authors: Saini, Abhishek
Lane, Christopher J. L.
Tu, Juan
Xue, Honghui
Fan, Zheng
Keywords: Engineering::Mechanical engineering
Issue Date: 2022
Source: Saini, A., Lane, C. J. L., Tu, J., Xue, H. & Fan, Z. (2022). 3D ultrasonic imaging of surface-breaking cracks using a linear array. Ultrasonics, 125, 106790-.
Project: A1983c0030 
Journal: Ultrasonics 
Abstract: Ultrasonic linear arrays have great potential to generate high-quality three-dimensional (3D) images by scanning the array. However, the generated images suffer from low resolution in the elevation plane, limiting the image quality for a reliable 3D Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) inspection. Although several ultrasonic imaging methods have been implemented to inspect different types of defects, there has been limited research to characterise surface-breaking cracks (SBCs) in 3D quantitatively. To improve the characterisation of surface-breaking cracks (SBCs), a 3D hybrid imaging method is proposed by combining the Half Skip Total Focusing Method (HSTFM) and the Synthetic Aperture Focusing Technique (SAFT) using a linear array. This paper proposed the implementation of an array with a reduced element length for full matrix capture (FMC) data acquisition. In conjunction with the hybrid imaging method, a reduced element array enables the utilisation of the information from a broad ultrasonic beam in the elevation direction to achieve improved image resolution. The imaging capability is assessed via a point spread function (PSF) as well as numerical simulations. From the PSF measurements, the image resolution is shown to improve with the smaller element length of the array, which is attributable to the combination of wide beamwidth and hybrid imaging method. Thereafter, experimental validation was performed with arrays of different elevation lengths, where an excellent match with the numerical results was observed. Furthermore, the crack sizing was performed using a 6-dB-drop rule, which assisted in accurately predicting the shape and size of the SBCs and is shown to measure the depth of SBCs with greater confidence. It is shown that a reduced array elevation with the hybrid imaging method and sizing method yields improved image resolution contrary to conventional linear arrays. This approach can offer a significant improvement in manifesting complete comprehension of the spatial defect relationship, enabling NDT engineers to analyse the inspection results quantitatively in 3D for progressive reliability.
ISSN: 0041-624X
DOI: 10.1016/j.ultras.2022.106790
Rights: © 2022 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Fulltext Permission: none
Fulltext Availability: No Fulltext
Appears in Collections:MAE Journal Articles

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