Ultrasonic Array Imaging Through an Anisotropic Austenitic Steel Weld Using an Efficient Ray-tracing Algorithm

Oliver Nowers, David J. Duxbury, Bruce W Drinkwater

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

21 Citations (Scopus)
459 Downloads (Pure)


Ultrasonic inspection of austenitic welds is challenging due to their highly anisotropic and heterogeneous microstructure. The weld anisotropy causes a steering of the ultrasonic beam leading to a number of adverse effects upon ultrasonic array imagery, including defect mislocation and aberration of the defect response. A semi-analytical model to simulate degraded ultrasonic images due to propagation through an anisotropic austenitic weld is developed. Ray-tracing is performed using the A⁎ path-finding algorithm and integrated into a semi-analytical beam-simulation and imaging routine to observe the impact of weld anisotropy on ultrasonic imaging. Representative anisotropy weld-maps are supplied by the MINA model of the welding process. A number of parametric studies are considered, including the magnitude and behaviour of defect mislocation and amplitude as the position of a fusion-face defect and the anisotropy distribution of a weld is varied, respectively. Furthermore, the use of the model to efficiently simulate and evaluate ultrasonic image degradation due to anisotropic austenitic welds during an inspection development process is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-108
Number of pages11
JournalNDT and E International
Early online date4 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016


  • Ultrasonics
  • Anisotropy
  • Austenitic welds
  • Ray-tracing


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