Home - Education Resources - NDT Course Material - Ultrasound

Introduction to Ultrasonic Testing

Basic Principles
Present State
Future Direction

Physics of Ultrasound
Wave Propagation
Modes of Sound Waves
Properties of Plane Waves
Wavelength/Flaw Detection
Elastic Properties of Solids

Acoustic Impedance
Refraction & Snell's Law
Mode Conversion
Signal-to-noise Ratio
Wave Interference

Equipment & Transducers
Piezoelectric Transducers
Characteristics of PT
Radiated Fields
Transducer Beam Spread
Transducer Types
Transducer Testing I
Transducer Testing II
Transducer Modeling
Tone Burst Generators
Function Generators
Impedance Matching
Data Presentation
Error Analysis

Measurement Techniques
Normal Beam Inspection
Angle Beams I
Angle Beams II
Crack Tip Diffraction
Automated Scanning
Velocity Measurements
Measuring Attenuation
Spread Spectrum
Signal Processing
Flaw Reconstruction

Calibration Methods
Calibration Methods
DAC Curves
Curvature Correction
Thompson-Gray Model
Grain Noise Modeling

Selected Applications
Rail Inspection

Reference Material
UT Material Properties


Transducer Modeling

In high-technology manufacturing, part design and simulation of part inspection is done in the virtual world of the computer. Transducer modeling is necessary to make accurate predictions of how a part or component might be inspected, prior to the actual building of that part. Computer modeling is also used to design ultrasonic transducers.

As noted in the previous section, an ultrasonic transducer may be characterized by detailed measurements of its electrical and sound radiation properties. Such measurements can completely determine the response of any one individual transducer.

There is ongoing research to develop general models that relate electrical inputs (voltage, current) to mechanical outputs (force, velocity) and vice-versa. These models can be very robust in giving accurate prediction of transducer response, but suffer from a lack of accurate modeling of physical variables inherent in transducer manufacturing. These electrical-mechanical response models must take into account the physical and electrical components in the figure below.

The Thompson-Gray Measurement Model, which makes very accurate predictions of ultrasonic scattering measurements made through liquid-solid interfaces, does not attempt to model transducer electrical-mechanical response. The Thompson-Gray Measurement Model approach makes use of reference data taken with the same transducer(s) to deconvolve electro-physical characteristics specific to individual transducers. See Section 5.4 Thompson-Gray Measurement Model.

The long term goal in ultrasonic modeling is to incorporate accurate models of the transducers themselves as well as accurate models of pulser-receivers, cables, and other components that completely describe any given inspection setup and allow the accurate prediction of inspection signals.