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Reference Discontinuities for Small Surface-breaking Cracks

A reference steel plate containing implanted, shallow, surface-breaking cracks was examined using an ultrasonic phased array system and destructive optical measurements to characterize the crack profiles. The inspection showed that the crack fronts were not uniform in nature, but wavered in depth. These random oscillations become very significant for cracks with nominal depths less than 1 mm. Although the phased array system was able to track the path of the crack front accurately, the results indicate that it is not realistic with today’s technology to expect reference plates with shallow cracks to be manufactured to sufficient accuracy or repeatability to use them for NDT calibration purposes

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