Optical generation of tone-burst Rayleigh surface waves for nonlinear ultrasonic measurements
Swacek, Christian Bernhard
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Conventional contact ultrasonic methods suffer from large variability, which is known to originate from a number of sources such as coupling variability, and the surface roughness at the transducer/specimen interface. The inherently small higherharmonic signals can be significantly influenced by the changes in contact conditions, especially in nonlinear ultrasonic measurements. For this reason, the noncontact generation and detection techniques are very attractive. This research first focuses on the optical generation of tone-burst surface acoustic waves in a metallic specimen. Two methods that use laser light as an optical source are compared for generating surface acoustics waves in the 5 MHz range. Both the shadow mask and diffraction grating are used to convert a laser pulse to a tone-burst signal pattern on the specimen. The generated signals are detected by a wedge transducer at a fixed location and then the harmonic contents in the generated signals and the repeatability of the methods are evaluated. Finally, the developed method is used to characterize the material nonlinearity of aluminum (Al 6061) and steel (A36). The results showed repeatable measurements for ablative signal excitation on aluminum.