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Proceedings Paper

Monitoring of fatigue crack growth using guided ultrasonic waves
Author(s): B. Masserey; E. Kostson; P. Fromme
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Paper Abstract

Varying loading conditions of aircraft structures result in stress concentration at fastener holes, where multi layer components are connected, possibly leading to the development of fatigue cracks. Guided ultrasonic waves propagating along a structure allow in principle for the efficient non-destructive testing of large plate-like structures, such as aircraft wings. This contribution presents a study of the detection and monitoring of fatigue crack growth using both low frequency and higher frequency guided ultrasonic wave modes. Two types of structures were used, single layer aluminum tensile specimens, and multi layer structures consisting of two adhesively bonded aluminum plate-strips. Fatigue experiments were carried out and it was shown that fatigue crack detection and growth monitoring at a fastener hole during cyclic loading using both guided wave types is possible. The sensitivity and repeatability of the measurements were ascertained, having the potential for fatigue crack detection at critical and difficult to access fastener locations. Good agreement was observed between the experimental results and predictions from full three-dimensional numerical simulations of the scattering of the low frequency guided ultrasonic wave at the fastener hole and crack. The robustness of the methodology for practical in-situ ultrasonic monitoring of fatigue crack growth is discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 April 2010
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7647, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2010, 76470D (1 April 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.848622
Show Author Affiliations
B. Masserey, Univ. of Applied Sciences, Fribourg (Switzerland)
E. Kostson, Univ. College London (United Kingdom)
P. Fromme, Univ. College London (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7647:
Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2010
Masayoshi Tomizuka, Editor(s)

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