Examples (1)

Core Research – examples from 2014-18 programme



Incomplete array imaging (Imperial College)

Development of algorithms which will reduce the number of projections required for accurate image reconstruction for both X‐ray CT and ultrasonics while still enabling images of sufficient quality to be produced. Outputs include:

Left (top)– standard reconstructions from limited data.  Left (below) – the new FNSR algorithm developed on the project. Right – run times of typical algorithms, demonstrating how much faster FNSR is.

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Automatic methods for crack detection (University of Manchester)

The project aims to use automatic methods of image analysis developed in other fields to help identify cracks or abnormalities in manufactured components. The long term goal is increase the automation of imaging and interpretation, to improve reliability and reduce manpower.

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Magnetic camera (University of Manchester)

Delivery of novel automation and objectivity to eddy current inspection (ET) and Magnetic Flux Leakage (MFL), by the development of a Magnetic Camera based on new Quantum Well Hall Effect (QWHE) sensors with enhanced sensitivity, frequency response and small physical size.

Colour QWHE image of Steel sample highlighting the indications of toe cracks, as well as weld boundaries, heat affected zones and other microstructures

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Characterisation of defects (Universities of Bristol, Strathclyde and Iowa State)

Using database search techniques to extract quantitative characterisation information from NDT data, focusing on ultrasonic data and later exploring generalisation to other modalities.

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Characterisation of the internal structure of scattering solids (University of Strathclyde)

This research was aimed at determining the interior microstructure of safety critical components using ultrasonic phased array data (without prior knowledge of the microstructure) and then using this information to improve defect detection and imaging.

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 Future transducer technologies (University of Strathclyde)

This project is exploring the use of emerging piezoelectric materials to achieve improved transduction performance and to cope with challenging environments, and is also investigating more radical design concepts inspired by natural phenomena such as insect hearing. Achievements include:

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Multi-wave imaging for damage precursor detection (University of Bristol)

Development of new inspection approaches that exploit mixing between different wave modes (a pump and probe wave), specifically ultrasound with another wave e.g. ultrasound, thermal or magnetic. The programme has focused on nonlinear ultrasonics and provided significant advances in the field:

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Near infra-red techniques for NDE (University of Warwick)

Development of new approaches for inspection of materials and coatings using imaging and spectroscopy in the near-infrared and mid-infrared wavelength range. Outputs include:

                                                  Near infrared Images of an epoxy/foam lightweight composite containing a delamination. This used a scanned laser diode/photodiode combination at a wavelength of 1.064 μm (see Senni et al., 2019).


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NDE for additive manufacturing (University of Nottingham)

This project has been focused on selective laser melting (SLM), an AM process technology that has been extensively developed in the last decade and now available commercially, and was also focused on an NDE method (Spatially Resolved Acoustic Spectroscopy – SRAS) which has particular advantages for this application.

(left) A micrograph of a typical Ti64 SLM printed surface (Ra ~6μm).

(right) A velocity map produced using SRAS to show the material texture contrast on the as-deposited rough surface.

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THEME 4: Monitoring

Magnetic monitoring of corrosion in pipelines (University of Warwick & Imperial College)

An investigation into magnetic monitoring of pipelines for corrosion, initially studying the metal magnetic memory (MMM) method about which major claims have been made but on which there is very little peer reviewed literature and moving on to the magnetic tomography method (MTM). Significant progress has been made on understanding these methods and the indication is that they are very unlikely to be reliable in practice.

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Ultrasonic monitoring of highly textured materials (Imperial College)

The aim was to develop a monitoring technique to compare successive measurements at the same location, so enabling the grain noise that makes standard ultrasonic inspection difficult to be subtracted out, leaving only signals due to damage growth.

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 Data processing for NDE monitoring (Imperial College)

The aim of this project is to provide a road map for the complex monitoring systems of the future, with generic development of processing to compensate for system, environmental and operational variability so that high quality data can be provided to enable operator attention to be focussed on the areas where action is needed. Conclusions include:

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