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Smart Structures and Systems
  Volume 26, Number 5, November 2020, pages 657-666

Development of rotational pulse-echo ultrasonic propagation imaging system capable of inspecting cylindrical specimens
Hasan Ahmed, Young-Jun Lee and Jung-Ryul Lee

    A rotational pulse-echo ultrasonic propagation imager that can inspect cylindrical specimens for material nondestructive evaluations is proposed herein. In this system, a laser-generated ultrasonic bulk wave is used for inspection, which enables a clear visualization of subsurface defects with a precise reproduction of the damage shape and size. The ultrasonic waves are generated by a Q-switched laser that impinges on the outer surface of the specimen walls. The generated waves travel through the walls and their echo is detected by a Laser Doppler Vibrometer (LDV) at the same point. To obtain the optimal Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) of the measured signal, the LDV requires the sensed surface to be at a right angle to the laser beam and at a predefined constant standoff distance from the laser head. For flat specimens, these constraints can be easily satisfied by performing a raster scan using a dual-axis linear stage. However, this arrangement cannot be used for cylindrical specimens owing to their curved nature. To inspect the cylindrical specimens, a circular scan technology is newly proposed for pulse-echo laser ultrasound. A rotational stage is coupled with a single-axis linear stage to inspect the desired area of the specimen. This system arrangement ensures that the standoff distance and beam incidence angle are maintained while the cylindrical specimen is being inspected. This enables the inspection of a curved specimen while maintaining the optimal SNR. The measurement result is displayed in parallel with the on-going inspection. The inspection data used in scanning are mapped from rotational coordinates to linear coordinates for visualization and post-processing of results. A graphical user interface software is implemented in C++ using a QT framework and controls all the individual blocks of the system and implements the necessary image processing, scan calculations, data acquisition, signal processing and result visualization.
Key Words
    nondestructive material evaluation; laser ultrasonic; bulk wave propagation; rotational scan; cylinder inspection
(1) Hasan Ahmed, Young-Jun Lee, Jung-Ryul Lee:
Department of Aerospace Engineering, Korean Advanced Institute for Science and Technology, 291 Daehak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-701, Republic of Korea

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