Feasibility of using nonlinear guided waves to measure acoustic nonlinearity of aluminum

Kathryn H. Matlack, Jin Yeon Kim, Laurence J. Jacobs, Jianmin Qu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This research investigates the feasibility of measuring acoustic nonlinearity in aluminum with different ultrasonic guided wave modes. Acoustic nonlinearity is manifested by generation of a second harmonic component in an originally monochromatic ultrasonic wave signal, and previous research has shown this correlates to an intrinsic material property. This parameter has been shown to increase with accumulated material damage - specifically in low- and high-cycle fatigue - prior to crack initiation, whereas other ultrasonic nondestructive evaluation (NDE) techniques measuring linear parameters are unable to detect damage prior to crack initiation. In structural components such as jet engines and aircraft structures subjected to fatigue damage, crack initiation does not occur until ~80% of a component's life. Thus, there is a need for structural health monitoring (SHM) techniques that can characterize material damage state prior to crack initiation, and therefore nonlinear ultrasonic techniques have the potential to be powerful NDE and SHM tools. Experimental results using Rayleigh and Lamb guided wave modes to measure acoustic nonlinearity in undamaged aluminum 6061 samples are presented, and a comparison of the efficiency of these modes to measure acoustic nonlinearity is given.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHealth Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2011
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
EventHealth Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2011 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 7 2011Mar 10 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherHealth Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Nonlinear acoustics
  • experimental material characterization
  • ultrasonic guided waves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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