Visualization of Fatigue Cracks at Structural Members Using a Pulsed Laser Scanning System

In this research, a noncontact nondestructive testing (NDT) method is proposed to detect the fatigue crack and to identify the location of the damage. To achieve this goal, Lamb wave propagation of a plate-like structure, which is induced by scanning laser source actuation system, is analyzed. A ND:YAG pulsed laser system is used to generate Lamb wave exerted at the multiple points of a steel coupon, and a piezoelectric sensor is installed to measure the structural responses. Multiple time signals measured by the piezoelectric sensor are aligned along the vertical and horizontal axes corresponding to laser impinging points so that 3-dimensional data can be constructed. Then, the 3-dimensional data is sliced along the time axis to visualize the wave propagation. The scattering of Lamb wave due to the damage can be described in the wave propagation image, and hence the damage can be localized and quantified. Damage-sensitive features, which are reflected wave from the damage, are clearly extracted by wave-number filtering based on the 3-dimensional Fourier transform of the visualized data. Structural members with fatigue cracks are investigated to verify the effectiveness and the robustness of the proposed NDT approach.

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