Ultrasonic guided wave inspection concepts for steam generator tubing

Joseph Lawrence Rose, Krishna M. Rajana, Frank T. Carr

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

55 Scopus citations


Some very exciting and promising results have been obtained with respect to the utilization of guided wave techniques for inspecting steam generator tubing. In addition to some theoretical considerations that were studied recently, work has been carried out in special probe design and development. This special probe is used in demonstration of flaw detection feasibility, and in understanding the conceptual development of a complete flaw detection system. This includes transducer, pulser-receiver system, and appropriate signal processing and pattern recognition software for reliable inspection. Ultrasonic NDE techniques have progressed quite rapidly during this decade for two principal reasons: advanced signal processing, and the use and understanding of multi-mode ultrasonic wave propagation. Both concepts are useful in the proposed work on guided wave propagation in steam generator tubing. These new directions go beyond the use of normal beam longitudinal waves and angle beam shear waves for inspection. Guided waves such as surface and Lamb waves can be used to monitor larger volumes of material with greater efficiency. The generation of these waves, however, is more complex. Theoretically one can produce a large number of modes in a structure with a simple loading arrangement. However, the generation of sufficient amounts of energy in a specific mode strongly depends on several factors. They include the loading system, angle of attack, probe frequency, frequency bandwidth, and a whole host of special transducer design and instrumentation parameters. Specific modes and frequencies may be more sensitive to specific geometries and positions of defects due to excitation variations across the thickness of the tubing. The guided wave technique can lead to reliable and efficient steam generator tubing inspection provided a suitable scientific, mathematical and experimental base line is established. Sample results are presented in the paper that demonstrate the feasibility of this technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages5
Specialist publicationMaterials Evaluation
StatePublished - Feb 1 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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