Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) and Determination of Surface Defects in Large Metallic Structures Using Ultrasonic Guided Waves

Sensors (Basel). 2018 Nov 15;18(11):3958. doi: 10.3390/s18113958.


Ultrasonic guided wave (UGW) is one of the most commonly used technologies for non-destructive evaluation (NDE) and structural health monitoring (SHM) of structural components. Because of its excellent long-range diagnostic capability, this method is effective in detecting cracks, material loss, and fatigue-based defects in isotropic and anisotropic structures. The shape and orientation of structural defects are critical parameters during the investigation of crack propagation, assessment of damage severity, and prediction of remaining useful life (RUL) of structures. These parameters become even more important in cases where the crack intensity is associated with the safety of men, environment, and material, such as ship's hull, aero-structures, rail tracks and subsea pipelines. This paper reviews the research literature on UGWs and their application in defect diagnosis and health monitoring of metallic structures. It has been observed that no significant research work has been convened to identify the shape and orientation of defects in plate-like structures. We also propose an experimental research work assisted by numerical simulations to investigate the response of UGWs upon interaction with cracks in different shapes and orientations. A framework for an empirical model may be considered to determine these structural flaws.

Keywords: guided waves ultrasonic testing (GWUT); metallic structures; non-destructive evaluation (NDE); remaining useful life (RUL); structural health monitoring (SHM); ultrasonic guided wave (UGW).

Publication types

  • Review