Nonlinear acoustics in non-destructive testing - from theory to experimental application

Dariusz Broda, Andrzej Klepka, Wieslaw J. Staszewski, Fabrizio Scarpa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

2 Citations (Scopus)


A growing interest in non-destructive testing methods based on nonlinear acoustics have been observed for the last ten fifteen years. The majority of methods in this area take their origin from the observation that fatigue damaged materials often behave like mesoscopic nonlinear materials (e.g. rocks) in which nonlinear phenomena have been observed for years. The most important phenomena include: higher harmonics generation, vibro-acoustic wave modulations, amplitude dependent resonance frequency shift and slow dynamic effects. All these phenomena result mainly from elastic wave interactions with contact-type defects. There is enough experimental evidence in the literature showing that these nonlinear effects are much more distinct in damaged materials than in intact ones. Despite the fact that many experimental techniques - based on nonlinear acoustic phenomena - have been developed for the last ten years, the physical mechanism of elastic wave interaction with damage materials still not clear. The main reason is the variety of possible nonlinear mechanisms involved. This includes: nonlinear elasticity and dissipation, contact acoustic nonlinearity based on herztian and rough surfaces contact theories and other effects such us adhesion, friction and thermoelasticity. This paper provides a short summary of various theoretical developments and examples of applications to damage detection in different materials.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationKey Engineering Materials
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Event5th International Congress of Technical Diagnostics - Krakow, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Sep 20125 Sep 2012

Publication series

NameKey Engineering Materials
ISSN (Print)10139826


Conference5th International Congress of Technical Diagnostics
CountryUnited Kingdom


  • Nonlinear acoustics
  • Structural damage detection
  • Vibro-acoustic wave nonlinear modulations

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