Nonlinear ultrasound modelling and validation of fatigue damage

G. P. Malfense-Fierro, F. Ciampa, D. Ginzburg, E. Onder, M. Meo

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Nonlinear ultrasound techniques have shown greater sensitivity to microcracks and they can be used to detect structural damages at their early stages. However, there is still a lack of numerical models available in commercial finite element analysis (FEA) tools that are able to simulate the interaction of elastic waves with the materials nonlinear behaviour. In this study, a nonlinear constitutive material model was developed to predict the structural response under continuous harmonic excitation of a fatigued isotropic sample that showed anharmonic effects. Particularly, by means of Landau's theory and Kelvin tensorial representation, this model provided an understanding of the elastic nonlinear phenomena such as the second harmonic generation in three-dimensional solid media. The numerical scheme was implemented and evaluated using a commercially available FEA software LS-DYNA, and it showed a good numerical characterisation of the second harmonic amplitude generated by the damaged region known as the nonlinear response area (NRA). Since this process requires only the experimental second-order nonlinear parameter and rough damage size estimation as an input, it does not need any baseline testing with the undamaged structure or any dynamic modelling of the fatigue crack growth. To validate this numerical model, the second-order nonlinear parameter was experimentally evaluated at various points over the fatigue life of an aluminium (AA6082-T6) coupon and the crack propagation was measured using an optical microscope. A good correlation was achieved between the experimental set-up and the nonlinear constitutive model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-130
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Sound and Vibration
Early online date31 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2015


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