Comparison of experimental measurements of material grain size using ultrasound

Jie Zhang*, Yongfeng Song, Xiongbing Li, Cheng Huan Zhong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
64 Downloads (Pure)


Material grain size is related to metallic material properties and its elastic behaviour. Measuring and monitoring material grain size in material manufacturing and service is an important topic in measurement field. In this paper, three materials, i.e., aluminium 2014 T6, steel BS970 and copper EN1652, were chosen to represent materials with small, medium and large grain size, respectively. Various techniques of measuring material grain size were demonstrated and compared. These techniques include the measurements from material microstructure images, backscattered ultrasonic grain noise using a conventional transducer, longitudinal wave attenuation using ultrasonic arrays and shear wave attenuation using a lead zirconate titanate (PZT) plate. It is shown that the backscattered ultrasonic noise measurement and material attenuation measurement are complementary. The former is pretty good for weak scattering materials, e.g., aluminium, while the latter for materials with large grains, e.g., steel and copper. Consistent measured grain size from longitudinal and shear wave attenuations in steel and copper suggests that shear wave attenuation can be calculated from the measured longitudinal wave attenuation integrated with Stanke–Kino’s model or Weaver’s model, if there is a difficulty to either excite or capture shear waves in practice. The outcome of the paper expects to provide a further step towards the industrial uptake of these techniques.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nondestructive Evaluation
Issue number30
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2020


  • Material grain size
  • Material attenuation
  • Ultrasound
  • Ultrasonic arrays


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparison of experimental measurements of material grain size using ultrasound'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this