The extraordinary sensitivity of nonlinear ultrasonic waves to the early stages of material degradation makes them excellent candidates for nondestructive material characterization. However, distinguishing weak material nonlinearity from instrumentation nonlinearity remains problematic for second harmonic generation approaches. A solution to this problem is to mix waves having different frequencies and to let their mutual interaction generate sum and difference harmonics at frequencies far from those of the instrumentation. Mixing of bulk waves and surface waves has been researched for some time, but mixing of guided waves has not yet been investigated in depth. A unique aspect of guided waves is their dispersive nature, which means we need to assure that a wave can propagate at the sum or difference frequency. A wave vector analysis is conducted that enables selection of primary waves traveling in any direction that generate phase matched secondary waves. We have tabulated many sets of primary waves and phase matched sum and difference harmonics. An example wave mode triplet of two counter-propagating collinear shear horizontal waves that interact to generate a symmetric Lamb wave at the sum frequency is simulated using finite element analysis and then laboratory experiments are conducted. The finite element simulation eliminates issues associated with instrumentation nonlinearities and signal-to-noise ratio. A straightforward subtraction method is used in the experiments to identify the material nonlinearity induced mutual interaction and show that the generated Lamb wave propagates on its own and is large enough to measure. Since the Lamb wave has different polarity than the shear horizontal waves the material nonlinearity is clearly identifiable. Thus, the mutual interactions of shear horizontal waves in plates could enable volumetric characterization of material in remote regions from transducers mounted on just one side of the plate.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)