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Proceedings Paper

Detection of crack in thin cylindrical pipes using piezo-actuated Lamb waves
Author(s): P. S. Tua; S. T. Quek; Q. Wang
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Paper Abstract

The detection of cracks in beams and plates using piezo-actuated Lamb waves has been presented in the last SPIE Symposium. This paper is an extension of the technique to pipes. It has been shown that for a thin-walled pipe, the assumption of Lamb wave propagation is valid. Such waves can be efficiently excited using piezoceramic transducers (PZT) with good control on the pulse characteristics to assess the health of structural components, such as the presence of cracks. In this paper, a systematic methodology to detect and locate cracks in homogenous cylinder/pipe based on the time-of-flight and strength analysis of propagating Lamb wave is proposed. By observing the attenuation in strength of the direct wave incidence at the sensor, the presence of a crack along the propagation path can be determined. At least four actuation positions, two on each end of the pipe segment of interest, are needed to exhaustively interrogate for the presence of cracks. The detailed procedure for locating and tracing the geometry of the crack(s) is described. It is shown experimentally that the detection using circular PZT actuator and sensor, with dimensions of 5.0 mm diameter and 0.5 mm thick, is possible for an aluminum pipe segment of up to at least 4.0 m in length. The proposed methodology is also explored for the aluminum pipe under more practical situations, such as burying it in sand with only the actuator and sensor positions exposed. Experimental results obtained showed the feasibility of detecting the 'concealed' crack on the pipe buried in sand.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 May 2005
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5765, Smart Structures and Materials 2005: Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems, (17 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.596074
Show Author Affiliations
P. S. Tua, National Univ. of Singapore (Singapore)
S. T. Quek, National Univ. of Singapore (Singapore)
Q. Wang, Univ. of Central Florida (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5765:
Smart Structures and Materials 2005: Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems
Masayoshi Tomizuka, Editor(s)

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