Experimental investigation of material nonlinearity using the Rayleigh surface waves excited and detected by angle beam wedge transducers

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HIGHLIGHTSNonlinear Rayleigh wave beams generated by ABW transducers is verified experimentally.The driving-level dependence nonlinear wave distributions are observed and explained.A method to determine the source nonlinearity and attenuation coefficients is proposed.Material nonlinearity can be characterized using nonlinear Rayleigh waves.Angle beam wedge transducers are widely used in nonlinear Rayleigh wave experiments as they can generate Rayleigh wave easily and produce high intensity nonlinear waves for detection. When such a transducer is used, the spurious harmonics (source nonlinearity) and wave diffraction may occur and will affect the measurement results, so it is essential to fully understand its acoustic nature. This paper experimentally investigates the nonlinear Rayleigh wave beam fields generated and received by angle beam wedge transducers, in which the theoretical predictions are based on the acoustic model developed previously for angle beam wedge transducers [S. Zhang, et al., Wave Motion, 67, 141–159, (2016)]. The source of the spurious harmonics is fully characterized by scrutinizing the nonlinear Rayleigh wave behavior in various materials with different driving voltages. Furthermore, it is shown that the attenuation coefficients for both fundamental and second harmonic Rayleigh waves can be extracted by comparing the measurements with the predictions when the experiments are conducted at many locations along the propagation path. A technique is developed to evaluate the material nonlinearity by making appropriate corrections for source nonlinearity, diffraction and attenuation. The nonlinear parameters of three aluminum alloy specimens – Al 2024, Al 6061 and Al 7075 – are measured, and the results indicate that the measurement results can be significantly improved using the proposed method.

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