Quantitative time-of-flight analysis of laser-generated shear waves and longitudinal-shear mode-converted waves has demonstrated an effective method for non-contact monitoring of the thickness of metal plates. Q-switched Nd:YAG laser pulses with energies of ∼18 mJ, delivered to the material surface via an optical fibre and focused to a line source by a cylindrical lens, excited surface waves, longitudinal and shear waves. Bulk waves propagated through the plate to be reflected from the far surface. Returning waves were detected using an electro-magnetic acoustic transducer (EMAT) sensitive to in-plane motion. The compilation of B-scans generated as the sensor head was moved along the material's surface to produce a 2-D intensity profile made any changes in the plate thickness easy to visualise. The longitudinal-shear (L-S) and shear-longitudinal (S-L) mode-converted waves provided a method of simultaneously monitoring two different points on the far surface enabling any changes in the material thickness to be clearly identified. This method was used to determine the thickness of aluminium samples ranging in from 5 to 70 mm. © 2002 Published by Elsevier Science B.V.
- Laser ultrasound
- Non-contact monitoring