Structural health monitoring ultrasonic thickness measurement accuracy and reliability of various time-of-flight calculation methods

Eason, Thomas
Bond, Leonard
Lozev, Mark
Bond, Leonard
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Aerospace Engineering
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Mechanical Engineering
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Aerospace EngineeringMechanical EngineeringCenter for Nondestructive Evaluation (CNDE)

The accuracy, precision, and reliability of ultrasonic thickness structural health monitoring systems are discussed in-cluding the influence of systematic and environmental factors. To quantify some of these factors, a compression wave ultrasonic thickness structural health monitoring experiment is conducted on a flat calibration block at ambient temperature with forty four thin-film sol-gel transducers and various time-of-flight thickness calculation methods. As an initial calibration, the voltage response signals from each sensor are used to determine the common material velocity as well as the signal offset unique to each calculation method. Next, the measurement precision of the thickness error of each method is determined with a proposed weighted censored relative maximum likelihood analysis technique incorporating the propagation of asymmetric measurement uncertainty. The results are presented as upper and lower confidence limits analogous to the a90/95 terminology used in industry recognized Probability-of-Detection assessments. Future work is proposed to apply the statistical analysis technique to quantify measurement precision of various thickness calculation methods under different environmental conditions such as high temperature, rough back-wall surface, and system degradation with an intended application to monitor naphthenic acid corrosion in oil refineries.


This proceeding may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and AIP Publishing. This proceeding appeared in Eason, Thomas J., Leonard J. Bond, and Mark G. Lozev. "Structural health monitoring ultrasonic thickness measurement accuracy and reliability of various time-of-flight calculation methods." AIP Conference Proceedings 1706, no. 1 (2016): 200003. DOI: 10.1063/1.4940647. Posted with permission.