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ASME J Nondestructive Evaluation. 2018;2(1):011001-011001-12. doi:10.1115/1.4041068.

This paper presents gamma radiation effects on resonant and antiresonant characteristics of piezoelectric wafer active sensors (PWAS) for structural health monitoring (SHM) applications to nuclear-spent fuel storage facilities. The irradiation test was done in a Co-60 gamma irradiator. Lead zirconate titanate (PZT) and Gallium Orthophosphate (GaPO4) PWAS transducers were exposed to 225 kGy gamma radiation dose. First, 2 kGy of total radiation dose was achieved with slower radiation rate at 0.1 kGy/h for 20; h then the remaining radiation dose was achieved with accelerated radiation rate at 1.233 kGy/h for 192 h. The total cumulative radiation dose of 225 kGy is equivalent to 256 years of operation in nuclear-spent fuel storage facilities. Electro-mechanical impedance and admittance (EMIA) signatures were measured after each gamma radiation exposure. Radiation-dependent logarithmic sensitivity of PZT-PWAS in-plane and thickness modes resonance frequency ((fR)/(logeRd)) was estimated as 0.244 kHz and 7.44 kHz, respectively; the logarithmic sensitivity of GaPO4-PWAS in-plane and thickness modes resonance frequency was estimated as 0.0629 kHz and 2.454 kHz, respectively. Therefore, GaPO4-PWAS EMIA spectra show more gamma radiation endurance than PZT-PWAS. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) and X-ray diffraction method (XRD) was used to investigate the microstructure and crystal structure of PWAS transducers. From SEM and XRD results, it can be inferred that there is no significant variation in the morphology, the crystal structure, and grain size before and after the irradiation exposure.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
ASME J Nondestructive Evaluation. 2018;2(1):011002-011002-11. doi:10.1115/1.4041122.

In recent years, nonlinear vibro-acoustic methods have shown potential to identify defects which are difficult to detect using linear ultrasonic methods. However, these methods come with their own challenges such as frequency dependence, requirement for a high excitation amplitude, and difficulties in distinguishing nonlinearity from defect with nonlinearity from other sources to name a few. This paper aims to study the dependence of nonlinear vibro-acoustic methods for detection of delaminations inside a composite laminate, on the excitation methods and excitation frequencies. It is shown that nonlinear vibro-acoustic methods are highly frequency dependent and commonly used excitation signals which utilize particular values of excitation frequencies might not always lead to a clear distinction between intact and delaminated regions of the specimen. To overcome the frequency dependence, signals based on frequency sweep are used. Interpretation of output response to sweep signals to identify damage is demonstrated using an earlier available approach, and a simpler approach is proposed. It is demonstrated that the damage detection with sweep signal excitations is relatively less dependent on excitation frequency than the conventional excitation methods. The proposed interpretation technique is then applied to specimens with delamination of varying sizes and with delaminations at different depths inside the laminate to demonstrate its effectiveness.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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