Embedded-Ultrasonic Structural Radar (EUSR) with Piezoelectric Wafer Active Sensors (PWAS) for Wide-Area Nondestructive Evaluation of Thin-Wall Structures

Description:

Reference# 00327

Invention Description:

The subject invention is a method and device for performing ultrasonic damage detection in a thin-wall structure using an array of embedded Piezoelectric Wafer Active Sensors (PWAS).

 

Background:

It has been recognized that there is a need to monitor the structural health of various types of equipment (i.e. vehicles, machines, aircraft, oil tanks, pipelines, and critical pressure vessels used in the energy generating industry).

 

A variety of techniques have been utilized to perform nondestructive evaluation of structures.  For example, ultrasonic transducers have been used in portable devices placed in communication with the structure of interest.  The crystals propagate ultrasonic waves into the material, which are then detected.  The detected signals can be electronically processed to indicate anomalies.

 

 

Advantages and Benefits:

1.   Detects a damage feature in a thin wall structure

2.   Calculates a distance to the damage feature

3.   Locates defects over large areas of thin-wall structures using guided ultrasonic waves

4.   Permits inexpensive and lightweight implementation of the phased-array principle

5.   Allows for extensive signal processing over time

6.   Provides an improved structural health monitoring system using an embedded sensor array.

 

Potential Applications:

This technology uses a signal processing methodology (beam-forming) and can be used for the transmission and reception of guided waves to monitor structural health. The beam-forming signal processing has been adapted to the specifics of guided elastic waves traveling in thin-wall structures.

 

Patent Information:
Title App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date Patent Status
Structural Health Monitoring System Utilizing Guided Lamb Waves Embedded Ultrasonic Structural Radar (with 330) Utility United States 10/462,583 6,996,480 6/16/2003 2/7/2006 6/16/2023  
Structural Health Monitoring System Utilizing Guided Lamb Waves Embedded Ultrasonic Structural Radar PCT United States PCT/US03/18810 6/16/2003      
Structural Health Monitoring System Utilizing Guided Lamb Waves Embedded Ultrasonic Structural Radar Nationalized PCT European 03760361.0   12/9/2004      
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
technology@sc.edu
Inventors:
Victor Giurgiutiu
Jingjing (jack) Bao
Keywords:
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