Towards improved Nde and Shm methodologies incorporating nonlinear structural features

Open Access
Chillara, Vamshi Krishna
Graduate Program:
Engineering Science and Mechanics
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
June 05, 2015
Committee Members:
  • Clifford Jesse Lissenden Iii, Dissertation Advisor
  • Joseph Lawrence Rose, Committee Member
  • Francesco Costanzo, Committee Member
  • Panagiotis Michaleris, Committee Member
  • NDE
  • SHM
  • Nonlinear ultrasonics
  • nonlinear guided waves
  • micromechanics
  • microstructure characterization
  • homogenization;
Ultrasound is widely employed in Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) and Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) applications to detect and characterize damage/defects in materials. In particular, ultrasonic guided waves are considered a foremost candidate for in-situ monitoring applications. Conventional ultrasonic techniques rely on changes/discontinuities in linear elastic material properties, namely the Young's modulus and shear modulus to detect damage. On the other hand, nonlinear ultrasonic techniques that rely on micro-scale nonlinear material/structural behavior are proven to be sensitive to damage induced microstructural changes that precede macro-scale damage and are hence capable of early damage detection. The goal of this thesis is to investigate the capabilities of nonlinear guided waves --- a fusion of nonlinear ultrasonic techniques with the guided wave methodologies for early damage detection. To that end, the thesis focuses on two important aspects of the problem: Wavemechanics - deals with ultrasonic guided wave propagation in nonlinear waveguides; Micromechanics - deals with correlating ultrasonic response with micro-scale nonlinear material behavior. For the development of efficient NDE and SHM methodologies that incorporate nonlinear structural features, a detailed understanding of the above aspects is indispensable. In this thesis, the wavemechanics aspect of the problem is dealt with from both theoretical and numerical standpoints. A generalized theoretical framework is developed to study higher harmonic guided waves in plates. This was employed to study second harmonic guided waves in pipes using a large-radius asymptotic approximation. Second harmonic guided waves in plates are studied from a numerical standpoint. Theoretical predictions are validated and some key aspects of higher harmonic generation in waveguides are outlined. Finally, second harmonic guided waves in plates with inhomogeneous and localized nonlinearities are studied and some important aspects of guided wave mode selection are addressed. The other part of the work focused on developing a micromechanics based understanding of ultrasonic higher harmonic generation. Three important aspects of micro-scale material behavior, namely tension-compression asymmetry, shear-normal coupling and deformation induced asymmetry are identified and their role in ultrasonic higher harmonic generation is discussed. Tension-compression asymmetry is identified to cause second (even) harmonic generation in materials. Then, shear-normal coupling is identified to cause generation of secondary waves of different polarity than the primary waves. In addition, deformation induced anisotropy due to the presence of residual stress/strain and its contribution to ultrasonic higher harmonic generation is qualitatively discussed. Also, the tension-compression asymmetry in the material is quantified using an energy based measure. The above measure is employed to develop a homogenization based approach amenable to multi-scale analysis to correlate microstructure with ultrasonic higher harmonic generation. Finally, experimental investigations concerning third harmonic SH wave generation in plates are carried out and the effect of load and temperature changes on nonlinear ultrasonic measurements are discussed in the context of SHM. It was found that while nonlinear ultrasound is sensitive to micro-scale damage, the relative nonlinearity parameter may not always be the best measure to quantify the nonlinearity as it is subject to spurious effects from changes in environmental factors such as loads and temperature.