In situ nonlinear Rayleigh wave technique to characterize the tensile plastic deformation of stainless steel 316L

Changgong Kim, Kathryn H. Matlack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The acoustic nonlinearity parameter β is sensitive to dislocation parameters, which continuously change during plastic deformation. Dislocation-based damage in structures/components is the source of the failure; thus, β has been studied as a metric for non-destructive evaluation. This work consists of two parts: the development of an in situ experimental setup for nonlinear Rayleigh wave measurements, and characterization of the dependence of β on applied stress at different levels of initial plastic strain. First, we introduce an experimental setup and methods for repeatable in situ nonlinear ultrasonic measurements. Details on design considerations and measurement schemes are provided. In the second part, β was measured in situ during an incremental monotonic tensile test. The measured β monotonically decreases with plastic strain, but it is relatively insensitive to the applied stress during elastic deformation. This result highlights three aspects of the evolution of β, which have not been sufficiently emphasized in prior work: the apparent insensitivity of β to the applied stress during elastic deformation, decreasing β with plastic deformation, and the saturation of β. We attribute the trend of decreasing β to a scaling of β with monopole loop length during plastic deformation, which depends on initial microstructure. The saturation of β at 1.8% coincides with a planar-to-wavy transition of dislocation structures. The in situ nonlinear ultrasonic experimental method presented in this work is significant as the in situ results can provide broader insights on β and dislocation-based damage evolution than ex situ measurements alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106945
StatePublished - May 2023


  • Acoustic nonlinearity parameter
  • In situ measurements
  • Nonlinear ultrasound
  • Plastic deformation
  • Rayleigh wave

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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