Prediction of crack growth and fatigue life estimation of metals using linear/nonlinear acousto-ultrasound methods is an ongoing issue. It is known that by measuring nonlinear parameters, the relative accumulated fatigue damage can be evaluated. However, there is still a need to measure two crack propagation states to assess the absolute residual fatigue life. A procedure based on the measurement of a third-order acoustic nonlinear parameter is presented to assess the residual fatigue life of a metallic component without the need of a baseline. The analytical evaluation of how the cubic nonlinear-parameter evolves during crack propagation is presented by combining the Paris law to the Nazarov-Sutin crack equation. Unlike other developed models, the proposed model assumes a crack surface topology with variable geometrical parameters. Measurements of the cubic nonlinearity parameter on AA2024-T351 specimens demonstrated high sensitivity to crack propagation and excellent agreement with the predicted theoretical behavior. The advantages of using the cubic nonlinearity parameter for fatigue cracks on metals are discussed by comparing the relevant results of a quadratic nonlinear parameter. Then the methodology to estimate crack size and residual fatigue life without the need of a baseline is presented, and advantages and limitations are discussed.
Amura, M., Meo, M., & Amerini, F. (2011). Baseline-free estimation of residual fatigue life using a third order acoustic nonlinear parameter. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 130(4), 1829-1837. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.3621714