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Second harmonic generation is one of the most sensitive and reliable nonlinear elastic signatures for micro-damage assessment. However, its detection requires powerful amplification systems generating fictitious harmonics that are difficult to discern from pure nonlinear elastic effects. Current state-of-the-art nonlinear ultrasonic methods still involve impractical solutions such as cumbersome signal calibration processes and substantial modifications of the test component in order to create material-based tunable harmonic filters. Here we propose and demonstrate a valid and sensible alternative strategy involving the development of an ultrasonic phononic crystal waveguide transducer that exhibits both single and multiple frequency stop-bands filtering out fictitious second harmonic frequencies. Remarkably, such a sensing device can be easily fabricated and integrated on the surface of the test structure without altering its mechanical and geometrical properties. The design of the phononic crystal structure is supported by a perturbative theoretical model predicting the frequency band-gaps of periodic plates with sinusoidal corrugation. We find our theoretical findings in excellent agreement with experimental testing revealing that the proposed phononic crystal waveguide transducer successfully attenuates second harmonics caused by the ultrasonic equipment, thus demonstrating its wide range of potential applications for acousto/ultrasonic material damage inspection.
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