Nondestructive Evaluation of Materials
Ultrasound is an ideal modality for nondestructive evaluation (NDE) because it enables the interior of objects to be assessed without the safety and access issues associated with radiography. This article summarizes the history of array usage in NDE and its relationship to medical applications. It discusses the mathematics behind classical beamforming, full matrix capture, and total focusing methods of imaging. The article shows how ultrasonic array data can be simulated by direct numerical methods (most commonly using finite-element methods), analytical methods, or hybrid methods. It also considers various methods of comparing the performance of arrays and imaging algorithms. The article provides a comparison of various advanced and nonlinear imaging algorithm and looks at some practical industrial applications of arrays. It concludes with some future perspectives for arrays in NDE.