- Conference date: 26–31 July 2009
- Location: Kingston (Rhode Island)
The development of portable ultrasonic guided wave transducer arrays that utilize Macro Fiber Composite actuators (MFCs) is described. Portable inspection equipment can make use of ultrasonic guided waves to rapidly screen large areas of many types of engineering structures for defects. The defect finding performance combined with the difficulty of application determines how much the engineering industry makes use of this non‐destructive, non‐disruptive technology. The developments with MFCs have the potential to make considerable improvements in both these aspects. MFCs are highly efficient because they use interdigital electrodes to facilitate the extensional, displacement mode. Their fiber composite design allows them to be thin, lightweight, flexible and durable. The flexibility affords them conformance with curved surfaces, which can facilitate good mechanical coupling. The suitability of a given transducer for Long Range Ultrasonic Testing is governed by the nature and amplitude of the displacement that it excites/senses in the contact area of the target structure. This nature is explored for MFCs through directional sensitivity analysis and empirical testing. Housing methods that facilitate non‐permanent coupling techniques are discussed. Finally, arrangements of arrays of MFCs for the guided wave inspection of plates and pipes are considered and some broad design criteria are given.
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