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Next-generation phased array based Ultrasonic Polar Scan system for the characterisation of visco-elastic composites

Non-destructive testing (NDT) refers to techniques that are used in the life-cycle of a structural component to investigate their quality, functionality and 'health' without destroying the object, nor affecting its properties. The development of NDT techniques is ever-evolving and needs continuous upgrading because of the emergence of new industrial materials, the increasing demand to more sensitive and more quantitative characterisation and quality control, and the need for earlier detection of defects. The Ultrasonic Polar Scan (UPS) is an advanced NDT method that analyses reflected or transmitted ultrasonic signals coming from an object over a wide range of azimuthal and polar angles. The recorded information (amplitude, phase, or time-of-flight) provides a highly sensitive fingerprint of the local material properties and damage status. Through previous collaborative projects between KU Leuven and UGent, the fundamentals behind the method are well understood by now, however, a practical redesign of the (bulky) laboratory set-up is required to obtain an efficient inspection tool that can be used in industry. The goal of this project is to implement a novel design proposal based on state-of-the-art phased array technology for the UPS tool that has recently been fully modelled by our research group. This will lead to a prototype of a practical and portable UPS device that can be used on-site in the field, providing a fast and accurate assessment of the local material characteristics and damage status for metallic and composite materials.
Date:1 Oct 2021 →  Today
Keywords:Non-Destructive Testing, Phased Array Technology, Material characterisation, Damage Detection, Composite structures, Structural Health Monitoring
Disciplines:Non-destructive testing, safety and diagnosis, Short and long fibre reinforced composites, Acoustics and acoustical devices, waves