There has been a worldwide growth in the interest and use of ultrasonic phased arrays. The most advanced manufacturers are working on flexible arrays that can conform to curved surfaces such as circumferential curvature of pipes or localised curvature of weld caps. Two principal approaches are known to be under development:

  • a flexible phased-array transducer capable of matching the surface profile that is also integrated with a  means of measuring position of transducer elements on the surface.

  • a traditional fixed transducer array with a conformable water-wedge membrane.

Initial demonstrations of these devices are very promising, although each has specific associated limitations to differing degrees such as mechanical complexity, cost, size, conformability, resolution, etc. The application of these arrays uses well-established methods for altering focal laws to control the focus of the array on a chosen location in a target structure. This project will evaluate the two approaches to accommodating curved surfaces and also investigate ways of maximising the information obtained from the array data.

advanced ultrasonic array

 

References

Russell, J., Long, R. and Cawley, P. ‘Development of a membrane coupled conformable phased array inspection capability’, Review of Progress in Quantitative NDE, Vol 29, DO Thompson and DE Chimenti (eds), American Institute of Physics, pp831-838, 2010.

Long, R., Russell, J. and Cawley, P. ‘Through-weld ultrasonic phased array inspection using full matrix capture’, Review of Progress in Quantitative NDE, Vol 29, DO Thompson and DE Chimenti (eds), American Institute of Physics, pp918-925, 2010.

Russell, J., Long, R. and Cawley, P. ‘Development of a twin crystal membrane coupled conformable phased array for the inspection of austenitic welds’, Review of Progress in Quantitative NDE, Vol 30, DO Thompson and DE Chimenti (eds), American Institute of Physics, pp811-818, 2011.

 Long, R., Cawley, P., and Russell, J. ‘Variable split aperture processing of full matrix capture phased array data’, Review of Progress in Quantitative NDE, Vol 30, DO Thompson and DE Chimenti (eds), American Institute of Physics, pp819-826, 2011.

 GD Connolly, MJS Lowe, JAG Temple, SI Rokhlin, "Correction of ultrasonic array images to improve reflector sizing and location in inhomogeneous materials using a ray-tracing model", J. Acoust. Soc. Am., vol 127, 2802-2812, 2010.

 D Duxbury, J Russell, MJS Lowe, "Designing a calibrated full matrix capture based inspection”, Review of Progress in Quantitative NDE, eds. D.O. Thompson and D.E. Chimenti, American Institute of Physics, New York, vol. 30, pp. 851-858, 2011.