EngD student, 2011 intake
Research: The Design and Development of Dry-Coupled Acoustic Wheel probe Systems for Automated NDE
Sponsoring company: Alba Ultrasound Ltd
Background: Undergraduate Masters in Physics, University of Warwick, June 2011. The final year project was my first introduction to NDE and was aimed at measuring ultrasonic Rayleigh wave diffraction patterns using electromagnetic acoustic transducers (EMATs) in order to determine the dimensions of a feature.
The overall aim of the EngD project is to design, develop and manufacture a range of novel non-destructive evaluation, dry-coupled acoustic wheel probes for integration with robotic platforms for Alba Ultrasound, in partnership with the University of Strathclyde. The long term goal of the project is to develop this product line to further Alba’s current NDE market position.
The creation of such dry-coupled wheel probe systems has required investigations into wheel probe design, acoustic materials suitable for dry-coupling, wheel probe mechanical design, acoustic damping materials and structures, high frequency piezoelectric 1-3D composite ultrasonic transducer array design (both shear and longitudinal probes) and finite element modelling, data visualisation, and mobile robotic platform system integration.
The key challenges in the project have been the reduction of reverberation within the wheel probe and designing a device capable of navigating 3D geometry such as saddle welds.
Currently involved in the following collaborative projects:
Autonomous Ultrasonic Array Robot (AURA)
A Technology Strategy Board (TSB) funded project to develop a ultrasonic wheel probe, capable of inspecting saddle pipe welds, which will be integrated with a small form factor robot.
European Union Seventh Frame work collaborative programme to develop an on-line, low-cost, fast scanning ultrasonic inspection system for the grading of wood.