Nondestructive Evaluation of Materials
Sonic and Ultrasonic Techniques
Ultrasonic inspection is a family of nondestructive methods in which beams of high-frequency mechanical waves are introduced into materials, using transducers, for the detection and characterization of both surface and subsurface anomalies and flaws in the material. This article describes the basic equipment in ultrasonic inspection systems, and lists the advantages and disadvantages of these systems. It discusses the applications of ultrasonic inspection and also the general characteristics of ultrasonic waves in terms of wave propagation, longitudinal waves, transverse waves, surface waves, and lamb waves. The article reviews the major variables in ultrasonic inspection, including frequency, acoustic impedance, angle of incidence, and beam intensity. It discusses the attenuation of ultrasonic beams and provides information on the pulse-echo and transmission methods for implementing ultrasonic inspection.