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This article provides an overview of the characteristics of Rayleigh waves plus methods for generation and detection of waves, including using piezoelectric transducers or noncontact techniques such as lasers, electromagnetic acoustic transducers, or air-coupled ultrasonics. It reviews the methods for using Rayleigh waves for defect detection and materials characterization, alongside nonlinear ultrasonic inspection and surface acoustic wave (SAW) microscopy. The article concludes with information on the standards that use Rayleigh waves for nondestructive evaluation (NDE) of different structures.

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