Assessing engineered materials via non-destructive impact acoustics

Dong, Yishan; Taherzadeh, Shahram; Sharp, David B and Bowen, James (2019). Assessing engineered materials via non-destructive impact acoustics. In: Proceedings of the 23rd International Congress on Acoustics : integrating 4th EAA Euroregio 2019 : 9-13 September 2019 in Aachen, Germany (Ochmann, Martin; Vorländer, Michael and Fels, Janina eds.), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Akustik, Berlin, Germany, pp. 2588–2595.




Acoustic testing allows inspection of the quality of engineered products without affecting their final use. It is an example of non-destructive testing (NDT), a wide group of analytical techniques used to evaluate the properties of a material, component or system without causing damage. Acoustic testing is becoming increasingly popular, particularly across the civil engineering, healthcare, automotive, and aviation industries. One early example originated via the wheeltappers during the Industrial Revolution when railways came into prominence. An impact between two solid bodies produces surface and body waves, the velocity and characteristics of which depend on material properties and the nature of the contact. Parameters such as density, modulus, and surface roughness influence the properties of these waves. Measurement of these waves can therefore be used in the evaluation of material and surface properties. This work reports on recent attempts to develop a non-destructive method for assessing the structure and quality of engineered materials. The protocol involves delivering a low kinetic energy impact to a sample, allowing correlation between the properties of the specimen and the specimen surface with the acoustic output from the impact event.

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