Inverse Wave Field Extrapolation, the Next Generation of Ultrasonic Inspection

NDE in industry has a vital role in assuring integrity of assets and safety for people and environment. Friction Stir Welding (FSW) is among the welding technique aerospace industry uses. It is used in a range of industries including military, naval, and rail. FSW allows for rapid and high quality welding of previously difficult to weld materials such as 2XXX and 7XXX aluminum alloys, among the others. Phased Array (PA) has been proven effective in inspecting FSW and most of the aerospace companies have it among their advanced NDE techniques, but improvements in characterization of defects may help. The new Full Matrix Capture (FMC) family of ultrasonic imaging measurements is showing great potential and is considered the natural evolution of PA. The majority of FMC techniques in the market uses a single array probe with only one acquisition mode at a time and has slow data processing. Inverse Wave Extrapolation (IWEX) is a fast processing technique for FMC data that uses two array probes and up to 13 simultaneous acquisition modes, with each mode providing a different inspection angle of an anomaly. With this paper, we describe the IWEX technique and share the results and benefits of using it over PA, such as straightforward interpretation including automation of identification and sizing of indications, flaws and defects.

References
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