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Nondestructive Evaluation/Structural Health Monitoring of Immersed Plates by Means of Guided Ultrasonic Waves

Pistone, Elisabetta (2014) Nondestructive Evaluation/Structural Health Monitoring of Immersed Plates by Means of Guided Ultrasonic Waves. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Studies conducted in the last two decades have demonstrated the effectiveness of guided ultrasonic waves (GUWs) for the nondestructive evaluation (NDE), as well as for structural health monitoring (SHM) of waveguides, such as pipes, plates, and rails. Owing to the ability of travelling relatively large distances in dry structures with little attenuation, GUWs allows for the inspection of long waveguides, locating cracks and notches from few monitoring points, while providing full coverage of the cross section. Laser pulses are one of the most effective methods to generate ultrasonic bulk and guided waves in dry structures. In this dissertation we propose a non-contact NDE method based on the generation of broadband ultrasonic signals by means of laser pulses to inspect underwater structures. The waves are then detected by means of an array of immersion transducers and analyzed by means of statistical analysis to search for damages on the wet structure of interest.
In this study we first investigated the effect of water’s depth, temperature, and pressure, and the laser energy and wavelength on the amplitude of the laser-induced ultrasonic waves. The results showed that the 0.532 μm wavelength is the most suitable for our applications. A good range of nominal laser energy is comprised between 160 mJ and 190 mJ. Furthermore, the variations of temperature and pressure have minimal effects on the ultrasonic signals. The following phase showed the ability of the technique to detect various types of defects in an immersed plate, which we achieved by building in house A B-scan system, controlled by National Instrument PXI running under LabVIEW. We designed two series of tests in which the number of transducers, their spatial arrangement, as well as the types of features extracted from the time, the frequency and time-frequency domain varied. By developing two unsupervised algorithms based on outlier analysis, we revealed that the method is capable of successfully detecting a crack and a hole-through. Next, the variation of the energy peak in the time-frequency space was shown to decrease with a dependence on the plate thickness. A range of peak energy was experimentally tabulated and the experimental group velocities of the first fundamental symmetric mode were calculated for six plates of different thickness, varying between 1 mm and 10 mm. Finally, the ability of a focused transducer to interrogate the damage state of the original aluminum plate was shown. As predicted, our multivariate algorithm successfully detected all the five defects devised on the plate. This work concluded with a comparison between the two methods. The results showed that both the hybrid laser-immersion transducer technique and the focusing technique can be successfully used for the noncontact monitoring of immersed plates.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Pistone, Elisabettaelp54@pitt.eduELP54
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairRizzo , Piervincenzopir3@pitt.eduPIR3
Committee MemberAbad, Jorge D.jabad@pitt.eduJABAD
Committee MemberBrigham, John C.brigham@pitt.eduBRIGHAM
Committee MemberChaparro, Luis F.lfch@pitt.eduLFCH
Committee MemberOppenheim, Irving
Date: 29 January 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 8 November 2013
Approval Date: 29 January 2014
Submission Date: 26 November 2013
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 172
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Civil and Environmental Engineering
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: laser ultrasound, guided ultrasonic waves, nondestructive testing, structural health monitoring, outlier analysis, leaky Lamb waves.
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2014 18:17
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:16


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