Signal processing methods to quantify scattering of angle-beam shear waves from through-holes in plates
Kummer, Joseph W.
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The objective of this thesis is to present analysis techniques that quantify the scattering of angle-beam ultrasonic waves from through-holes in plates. This topic is of interest because increased understanding of the scattering of ultrasonic waves by a defect is important for the development of many nondestructive evaluation (NDE) applications. Angle-beam techniques are commonly used in industry to detect and characterize defects, and many structures of concern have plate-like components. Scattering from through-holes is particularly important because cracks tend to form around fastener holes, which have high stress concentrations. In addition, varying boundary conditions within a fastener hole can change over the course of a structure’s lifetime and may have significant effects on NDE results. In this research, two signal processing techniques are developed to obtain scattering information from through-holes for a variety of fill conditions, including epoxy and complete and partial filling with metal inserts, using experimentally acquired wavefield measurements. Experimental procedures for acquiring wavefields, which measure the out of plane motion of ultrasonic waves on the surface of a specimen and allow for the visualization and characterization of propagating waves, are presented. Methods for obtaining radial and directional energy maps, which quantify scattering as a function of scattered angle and phase velocity, are described. In addition, baseline subtraction is used to obtain scattering patterns for both methods, which quantify scattering as a function of polar angle for each wave mode present in the wavefield. These techniques are applied to wavefield measurements from through-holes with various fill conditions to investigate the effects of boundary conditions on ultrasonic scattering. A comparison of the radial and directional energy mapping techniques, discussing the strengths and weaknesses of each approach, is provided, and recommendations are made for future work.