The use of nonlinear ultrasonics to characterize microstructural evolution is investigated with the aim of enabling earlier remaining useful life prediction and thereby greatly improving condition based maintenance. Higher harmonic generation is sensitive to microstructural features, whose evolution is indicative of ongoing damage processes. Localized plastic deformation is controlled in an aluminum sample by varying the notch length, which dictates the extent of the plastic zone. The essentials of higher harmonic generation analysis for ultrasonic guided waves are highlighted to provide a means to select a primary mode that generates a strong higher harmonic. Experimental methods to use magnetostrictive transducers for third harmonic generation measurements are described. Experimental results on aluminum plates indicate that plastic deformation increases the third harmonic by up to a factor of five and that the harmonic amplitude ratio A3/A31is sensitive to the plastic strain magnitude. These initial results show that when the plastic strain is localized, the A3/A3 1ratio appears to be proportional to the plastic zone-to-propagation distance ratio.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering