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Inspection of rail track head surfaces using electromagnetic acoustic transducers (EMATs)

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A pitch-catch low-frequency wideband Rayleigh wave EMAT system has been developed that has been used for gauge corner cracking defect detection on the head of samples of rail track. Strictly speaking, the generated waves are a type of guided wave mode as the propagation surface is not a flat halfspace, and these waves propagate along the surface of the rail penetrating down to a depth of several millimetres. Crack depth can be estimated by measuring the relative amount of the Rayleigh wave at a particular frequency that passes underneath the crack. The EMAT system also has the potential to assess the condition of the combined microstructure and stress state around the rail head by measuring accurately the velocity of the surface waves.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: EPSRC Advanced Research Fellow and leads the Ultrasonics Group in the Department of Physics at the University of Warwick 2: Ultrasonics Group in the Department of Physics, University of Warwick

Publication date: June 1, 2004

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