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ASME J Nondestructive Evaluation. 2017;1(2):021001-021001-6. doi:10.1115/1.4038030.

In recent years, there is a much interest in developing of nondestructive testing (NDT) systems using the pulse-echo laser ultrasonics. The key idea is to combine a low-power and short-pulsewidth laser excitation with a continuous sensing laser; and use a scanning mechanism, such as five degrees-of-freedom (5DOF)-axis robot, laser mirror scanner, or motorized linear translation or rotation scanner stage, to scan the combined beam on the structure. In order to optimize the parameters of the excitation laser, a realistic theoretical model of the epicenter displacement in thermo-elastic regime is needed. This paper revisits and revises the study of Spicer and Hurley (1996, “Epicentral and Near Epicenter Surface Displacements on Pulsed Laser Irradiated Metallic Surfaces,” Appl. Phys. Lett., 68(25), pp. 3561–3563) on thermo-elastic model of epicenter displacement with two new contributions: first, we revised Spicer’s model to take into account the optical penetration effect, which was neglected in Spicer’s model; and second, the revised model was used to investigate the effect of laser rise time and beam size to the epicenter displacement. We showed that a pulse laser with short rise time generates an equivalent surface displacement with a pulse laser with long rise time, except a “spike” at the beginning of the epicenter waveform; also when the laser beam size increases, the epicenter displacement decreases. These two conclusions were then validated by experiments.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
ASME J Nondestructive Evaluation. 2017;1(2):021002-021002-11. doi:10.1115/1.4038116.

This paper addresses the predictive simulation of acoustic emission (AE) guided waves that appear due to sudden energy release during incremental crack propagation. The Helmholtz decomposition approach is applied to the inhomogeneous elastodynamic Navier–Lame equations for both the displacement field and body forces. For the displacement field, we use the usual decomposition in terms of unknown scalar and vector potentials, Φ and H. For the body forces, we hypothesize that they can also be expressed in terms of excitation scalar and vector potentials, A* and B*. It is shown that these excitation potentials can be traced to the energy released during an incremental crack propagation. Thus, the inhomogeneous Navier–Lame equation has been transformed into a system of inhomogeneous wave equations in terms of known excitation potentials A* and B* and unknown potentials Φ and H. The solution is readily obtained through direct and inverse Fourier transforms and application of the residue theorem. A numerical study of the one-dimensional (1D) AE guided wave propagation in a 6 mm thick 304-stainless steel plate is conducted. A Gaussian pulse is used to model the growth of the excitation potentials during the AE event; as a result, the actual excitation potential follows the error function variation in the time domain. The numerical studies show that the peak amplitude of A0 signal is higher than the peak amplitude of S0 signal, and the peak amplitude of bulk wave is not significant compared to S0 and A0 peak amplitudes. In addition, the effects of the source depth, higher propagating modes, and propagating distance on guided waves are also investigated.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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