Publication Date



Technical Report: UTEP-CS-03-09

Published in: Tribikram Kundu (ed.), Smart Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems II, Proceedings of the SPIE/International Society for Optical Engineering, Vol. 5047, San Diego, CA, March 3-5, 2003, pp. 55-66.


This paper describes a Lamb-wave scanning method for the detection of notches simulating cracks at rivet holes in thin plates. The approach requires the generation of an ultrasonic So-Mode Lamb wave using an incident transmitter excited with a tone burst centered at a near non-dispersive frequency. Area scans are performed of a plate with a hole with a notch to generate times series information which is used to create animations illustrating the wave propagation characteristics. The time series are subject to a sifting process to obtain intrinsic mode functions which contain narrow frequency banded information of the signals. The Hilbert-Huang transform is applied to the intrinsic mode functions which permit the computation of the signal energy as a function of time, proportional to the square of the amplitude of the analytical signal. Animations of the propagation of the Lamb-wave energy clearly illustrate that a potential scanning approach is to acquire time series along a line between the transmitter and the hole, capturing wave scattering from the hole and reflections from the notches. The times of flight and amplitude of the notch-reflected energy are used to calculate coordinates of the source of the reflections by a geometric approach. The series of identified coordinates outlines the extent of the notch at the rivet hole. Results of experiments conducted on thin square plates with a single hole with notches of various sizes compare favorably with the actual notches.