Research Seminar: Wave Propagation Modeling and Ultrasonic Experiments for Material Characterization


Ultrasonic attenuation and scattering have been extensively studied in both flaw detection and material characterization. Specifically, elastic wave scattering by grain boundaries in polycrystalline media can be quantified to determine microstructural properties. Attenuation and diffuse-field scattering studies have shown a clear dependence on both grain morphology (geometry) and material texture (macroscale anisotropy). However, models used to quantify scattering experiments are often developed under the assumption of equiaxed grains, a single effective grain diameter throughout the sample, and macroscopic isotropy. In this seminar, previous attenuation and single scattering response models are extended to account for grain elongation, grain size distributions, and stress. Some significant findings include: (1) optimized methods to evaluate grain elongation, (2) challenges to low frequency assumptions associated with the use of Rayleigh-limit attenuation models in the presence of wide distributions, and (3) dependence of attenuation coefficients on the anisotropy of the single crystal third-order elastic constants in the presence of stress. The benefits of these modeling advances are exemplified through experimental testing of various materials. For example, results for ultrasonic scattering experiments conducted on a rolled aluminum sample show the applicability of the derived models to extract grain size information. Experiments conducted on titanium specimens depict differences in the response of forged and additively manufactured sections of a component. Moreover, scattering measurements performed on uniaxially loaded samples illustrate a clear dependence on applied stress. The effects analyzed herein play an important role in the use of ultrasonic scattering measurements for microstructure and material characterization.


Andrea Arguelles is the Lead Scientist in Nondestructive Testing at Brimrose Technology Corporation in Hunt Valley, Maryland where she focuses on the advancement of ultrasonic techniques through small business innovation research funding. Dr. Arguelles’ research interests include wave scattering in heterogeneous media, ultrasonic testing for material characterization, and ultrasonic signal analysis beyond imaging. Her postdoctoral small business experience includes projects funded by various government agencies, including the Air Force, NASA, and NIST. These projects focused on the analysis of ultrasonic signals with applications ranging from additively manufactured components to inflatable space structures. She obtained her doctorate degree in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics under Prof. Joseph A. Turner at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2016.

Additional Information:

For additional details call Diane K. Bierly 863-6491.


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