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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/S26613/01
Title: Thermosonics - A New, Quick Technique for Crack Detection
Principal Investigator: Cawley, Professor P
Other Investigators:
Lowe, Professor M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Airbus Group Limited Ford Motor Co Rolls-Royce Plc
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Organisation: Imperial College London
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 September 2003 Ends: 31 August 2006 Value (£): 244,360
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Eng. Dynamics & Tribology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Transport Systems and Vehicles Energy
Aerospace, Defence and Marine No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
GR/S26606/01
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
'Thermosonics' is a new NDT technique that uses a pulse of high power ultrasound in the 20-100 kHz range applied at one point on the test structure to generate a high frequency vibration field in the structure. This causes the surfaces of any cracks present to rub together, so dissipating energy which causes a transient temperature rise local to the crack. This temperature rise is then detected by a thermal imaging camera whose field of view covers the whole component. The method therefore covers the whole component from a single excitation position so it is much quicker than conventional ultrasonic or eddy current inspection that require scanning over the whole surface. The method is particularly well suited to the detection of closed cracks that can cause problems with other techniques and is not significantly affected by complex geometries that can make ultrasonic or eddy current signals difficult to interpret. However, while the technique is potentially attractive, its operation is not satisfactorily understood and the requirements of the excitation need to be better defined. This project will put the method on a sound scientific basis by understanding the interaction of the vibration fielc with the defect and will involve the design of a reliable excitation system. At the end of the project, the sensitivity and application areas of the method will have been defined.
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.imperial.ac.uk