Guided Wave Tuning Principles for Defect Detection in Tubing

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Abstract

Dispersion diagrams for longitudinal modes and several flexural modes are given. A partial loading oblique incidence technique was introduced for non-axisymmetric guided wave generation. Acoustic fields for partially loaded generation of guided waves were obtained along a sample Inconel steam generator tube surface. The axial field and the circumferential fields were non uniform. Even though the acoustic field was much more complicated than in the case of axisymmetric modes, the study of non-axisymmetric mode cannot be avoided; excitation of a single symmetric mode is often difficult due to limited access and transducer efficiency and there is also mode conversion after scattering from defects. For 100% inspection coverage of tubing and piping, three dimensional tuning (distance, frequency, and incident angle tuning), was employed. A single combination of incident angle, position, and frequency may miss defects in “blind spots”. However, complete inspection coverage of a whole cross sectional area over a certain distance of tubing was successfully demonstrated through a multi crack detection experiment by using the three dimensional tuning concepts. Also, the use of non-axisymmetric guided waves for a large distance inspection capability was successfully demonstrated.

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