Anton Van Pamel
EngD student, 2011 intake
Research: Ultrasonic Inspection of Highly Scattering Materials
University: Imperial College London
Sponsoring company: E.ON (Power Generation)
Background: MEng in Mechanical Engineering, University of Bath, 2011.
Polycrystalline materials are commonplace in a variety of industries, including the electricity generation industry where their future uptake is likely to grow. In particular, improved creep strength derived from a coarser microstructure would permit future power plants to operate at increased temperatures, enabling higher efficiencies. The success of this evolution, however, will depend on technical confidence, including the capability to perform reliable NDE.
Whilst ultrasonic NDE works well in acoustically transparent media, in polycrystalline materials conversely, a host where scatterers associated with material microstructure are abundant, this is often no longer the case. As the wavelength of the probing wave becomes dimensionally similar to that of the grains: increased attenuation, incoherent noise, and possibly anisotropic effects all serve to obscure targets of interest.
In recent years, array probes and Full Matrix Capture (FMC) imaging algorithms have unlocked exciting opportunities for improvements. This EngD programme aims to establish those possibilities and develop the capability to ultrasonically inspect highly scattering materials. It will explore both, experimental studies to benchmark cutting edge NDE, and numerical modelling to investigate the complex physics.