An ultrasonic array is a single transducer that contains a number of individually connected elements. Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in the use of ultrasonic arrays for non-destructive evaluation. Arrays offer great potential to increase inspection quality and reduce inspection time. Their main advantages are their increased flexibility over traditional single element transducer methods, meaning that one array can be used to perform a number of different inspections, and their ability to produce immediate images of the test structure. These advantages have led to the rapid uptake of arrays by the engineering industry. These industrial applications are underpinned by a wide range of published research which describes new piezoelectric materials, array geometries, modelling methods and inspection modalities. The aim of this paper is to bring together the most relevant published work on arrays for non-destructive evaluation applications, comment on the state-of the art and discuss future directions. There is also a significant body of published literature referring to use of arrays in the medical and sonar fields and the most relevant papers from these related areas are also reviewed. However, although there is much common ground, the use of arrays in non-destructive evaluation offers some distinctly different challenges to these other disciplines. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Signal processing