High contrast air-coupled acoustic imaging with zero group velocity Lamb modes
The well known zero in the group velocity of the first-order symmetric (S1) plate wave mode has been exploited in air-coupled ultrasonic imaging to obtain significantly higher sensitivity than can be achieved in conventional air-coupled scanning. At the zero group velocity point at the frequency minimum of the S1mode, a broad range of wavenumbers couple into the first-order symmetric mode at nearly a constant frequency, greatly enhancing transmission at that frequency. Coupled energy remains localized near the coupling point because the group velocity is zero. We excite the mode with a broadband, focussing, air-coupled transducer at the frequency of the zero group velocity point in the S1 mode. By exploiting the efficient coupling at the zero group velocity frequency, we have easily imaged a single layer of Scotch tape attached to a 6.4-mm thick Plexiglas plate and 3.2-mm Teflon inserts in a composite laminate.
This is a post-print of a proceeding from Ultrasonics, 42, no. 1–9 (April 2004): 957–960, doi: 10.1016/j.ultras.2003.12.009.