Simulation of ultrasonic array imaging of composite materials with defects

Yousif Humeida, Valerie J. Pinfield, Richard E. Challis, Paul D. Wilcox, Chuan Li

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

23 Citations (Scopus)


Ultrasonic transducer arrays are extensively used for the nondestructive evaluation of materials for aerospace and other applications. However, their use with composites requires some technique development because of reflections at the layer boundaries and the effects of attenuation. When used in full matrix capture mode, algorithms such as the total focusing method (TFM) must be applied to obtain the image. In composite materials, improvement to the algorithm is required to include the effects of material anisotropy (affecting wave speed) and optimum aperture limits to optimize the signal-tonoise ratio and location detection for a defect in the material. This paper presents simulations of the ultrasonic array signals in multilayer anisotropic materials with and without a simulated defect. A kernel model for plane wave propagation in the material is combined with an angular spectrum decomposition (for finite transducer elements) and transducer frequency response, to model the full array signals. Inclusion of the defect is through its far-field scattering response. The model facilitates the study of imaging algorithm development by identification of the effects of anisotropy, signal-to-noise ratio, and aperture limit. An analytical method for the calculation of the effective group velocity in the composite at low frequency is demonstrated, permitting rapid calculation of time delay laws in practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6587402
Pages (from-to)1935-1948
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2013


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