Guided Wave Sensing In a Carbon Steel Pipe Using a Laser Vibrometer System
- Conference date: 22–25 June 2010
- Location: Ancona (Italy)
Non‐Destructive Evaluation (NDE) techniques have achieved a great development during the last decades as a valuable tool for material characterization, manufacturing control and structural integrity tests. Among these tools, the guided wave technology has been rapidly extended because it reduces inspection time and costs compared to the ordinary point by point testing in large structures, as well as because of the possibility of inspecting under insulation and coating conditions. This fast development has motivated the creation of several inspection and material characterization systems including different technologies which can be combined with this technique.
Different measurements systems based on laser techniques have been presented in order to inspect pipes, plates and diverse structures. Many of them are experimental systems of high cost and complexity which combine the employment of a laser for generation of waves in the structure and an interferometer for detection. Some of them employ air‐coupled ultrasound generation transducers, with high losses in air and which demand high energy for exciting waves in materials of high stiffness. The combined employment of a commercial vibrometer system for Lamb wave sensing in plates has been successfully shown in the literature.
In this paper we present a measurement system based on the combined employment of a piezoelectric wedge transducer and a laser vibrometer to sense guided acoustic waves in carbon steel pipes. The measurement system here presented is mainly compounded of an angular wedge transducer, employed to generate the guided wave and a commercial laser vibrometer used in the detection process. The wedge transducer is excited by means of a signal function generator whose output signal has been amplified with a power signal amplifier. A high precision positioning system is employed to place the laser beam at different points through the pipe surface. The signal detected by the laser vibrometer system is amplified with a signal amplifier and then it is displayed in a digital storage oscilloscope. This set‐up offers the possibility of analyzing in a simpler way the wave propagation and the material evaluation in pipes of certain wall thickness. The material characterization considering distinct wave propagation modes can be easily achieved, changing the different incident angles of the wedge piezoelectric probe and their combined employment with several driving signals. Moreover, this experimental sensing system offers other possibilities of inspecting and analyzing the wave propagation in some features (bends, flange joints, welds,…) of the pipe surface which cause very large reflections and mode conversions and which in practice limits the inspection range when are inspected with conventional receiving transducer arrangements.
- Wave propagation
- Laser amplifiers
- Materials analysis
- Piezoelectric materials
- Piezoelectric transducers
- Nondestructive testing
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