where expertise comes together - since 1996

Web's Largest Portal of Nondestructive Testing (NDT)
Open Access Database (Conference Proceedings, Articles, News), Exhibition, Forum, Network


NDT.net Issue - 2015-10 - NEWS

Sensor mimics bats to detect dangerous structural cracks


University of Strathclyde25, Glasgow, Scotland [United Kingdom]
NEWS  
NDT.net Journal
Issue: 2015-10
An ultrasound sensor for detecting dangerous cracks in structures such as aircraft engines, oil and gas pipelines and nuclear plants has been developed by researchers at the University of Strathclyde – with inspiration from the natural world.


Ebrahem Algehyne (left) and Dr Tony Mulholland

The device, known as a transducer, identifies structural defects with varying ultrasonic frequencies and overcomes the limits of other, similar devices, which are based on rigid structures and have narrow ranges. It is thought to be the first device of its kind in the world.

The transducer developed at Strathclyde has a more flexible structure, based on a natural phenomenon known in mathematics as fractals. These are irregular shapes which recur repeatedly to form objects such as snowflakes, ferns and cauliflowers, making their structure appear more complex than it often actually is. The same concept also lies behind the hearing system of animals including bats, dolphins, cockroaches and moths.

Dr Tony Mulholland, a Reader in Strathclyde’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics and co-researcher on the project, said: “Fractal shapes and soundwaves are characterised by having geometrical features on a range of length scales. However, man-made transducers tend to have a very regular geometry, similar to a chess board, and this restricts our ability to use this technology in finding cracks and flaws in structures where safety is critical.

“The reason transducers are still made this way is mostly historical; they were usually made by an engineer cutting with a saw and their design was traditionally done by manufacturing but now, with 3D printing, computer manufacturing and more laser technology, the transducer we have designed is increasingly viable.

Detection at an early stage

“We know if we can send out soundwaves that are complicated and have different frequencies, we can work towards simulating what nature does. If there are defects in a nuclear plant or an oil pipeline, we would be able to detect cracks that have a range of sizes and do so at an early stage.”

“This device could not only improve safety but also save a great deal of money, as early detection means inspections don’t have to be carried out as often. This is something industry is telling us it needs and we are responding to that need.”

Dr Mulholland was partnered in the study by Ebrahem Algehyne, a research student at Strathclyde’s Centre for Ultrasonic Engineering.

The research has been published in the IMA Journal of Applied Mathematics.

More of University of Strathclyde published in NDT.net
2018-08-01: Investigation of fundamental ultrasonic propagation characteristics in NDT of Electron Beam Deposition additive manufactured samples
2018-08-01: Assessment of Corrosion under Insulation and Engineered Temporary Wraps using Pulsed Eddy-Current Techniques
2018-08-01: Methods for Improving the Accuracy of Automated NDE Systems
2018-02-01: Field Demonstration of Real-TimeWind Turbine Foundation Strain Monitoring
2017-09-01: Visual asset inspection using precision UAV techniques
2017-05-01: Robotic path planning for non-destructive testing – A custom MATLAB toolbox approach
2016-11-01: Pattern Recognitionof Acoustic Emissionsignal Duringthe Mode I Fracture Mechanismsin Carbon- Epoxy Composite
2016-08-01: A formal approach to structural health monitoring design
2015-10-01: A Model-Based Approach to Crack Sizing With Ultrasonic Arrays
2015-04-01: A fractional Fourier transform analysis of the scattering of ultrasonic waves
All 25 Articles & News of University of Strathclyde in NDT.net


© NDT.net - The Web's Largest Portal of Nondestructive Testing (NDT) ISSN 1435-4934

Open Access Database, |Conference Proceedings| |Articles| |News| |Exhibition| |Forum| |Professional Network|