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Finite difference time domain simulation of the time-of-flight diffraction technique for imaging and sizing cracks

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This paper reports on the numerical simulations of the Time-of-Flight Diffraction (TOFD) technique to image and size cracks in plate specimens, using the Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD) method for modelling the ultrasonic wave propagation. Experiments were conducted to validate modelling results for pitch-catch simulations of transducers on samples with calibrated defects of different configurations and sizes in aluminium plate sections. Defects were imaged and sized taking into consideration the velocity of the wave and the times of arrival of the diffracted echoes. Experiments were carried out using a 5 MHz transmitter-receiver transducer pair mounted on suitable wedges to generate a beam of 50 refracted angle within the specimen to image and size cracks and hence validate the simulations. A front/back-wall correction algorithm coupled with a synthetic aperture focusing of the TOFD signals was also demonstrated for improved sizing of defects.
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Keywords: Crack sizing; FDTD; SAFT; TOFD; embedded cracks; surface cracks

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1 Project Officer in the Center for Non-Destructive Evaluation in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Madras. His research interests are non-destructive evaluation, acoustics, signal processing and finite element analysis.

Publication date: December 1, 2007

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