Title page for ETD etd-08242003-230649

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Horne, Michael Robert
URN etd-08242003-230649
Title Rayleigh Wave Acoustic Emission during Crack Propagation in Steel
Degree PhD
Department Materials Science and Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Duke, John C. Jr. Committee Chair
Dowling, Norman E. Committee Member
Hasselman, D. P. H. Committee Member
Henneke, Edmund G. II Committee Member
Reynolds, William T. Jr. Committee Member
  • Fatigue
  • NDE
  • Stress Wave Propagation
Date of Defense 2003-08-01
Availability unrestricted
An investigation was conducted of the existence of seismic surface pulses (SSP) on crack faces in near-failure fatigue. An SSP has components of various modes of wave propagation. The component with the largest amplitude is a Rayleigh surface wave pulse. The possibility that these surface modes have much higher amplitudes than bulk modes of acoustic emission (AE) was illustrated by an idealized thought experiment relating an SSP on a half-space to the response of crack faces to crack extension.

A number of aspects of AE monitoring in finite objects were investigated. Attributes of surface wave propagation on the edge of a specimen were found to be easier to monitor than other modes of wave propagation. Wavelet analysis was used to compare the characteristics of brittle AE with other sources.

A new testing paradigm was developed to reduce interference from secondary sources of AE and enhance the investigation of AE from critical crack behavior. Unique specimen design features were developed, data acquisition features sought and validated, a dead weight load frame was modified, and data analysis procedures were developed. Criteria based on velocity, frequency content, amplitude and shape were devised to determine if an AE event is an SSP. The tests were designed to mimic load conditions on structures such as bridges and hence investigate the difference between AE generated in field conditions and that of typical laboratory conditions. Varieties of steel, from very ductile to very brittle, were tested.

It was concluded that plastic zone formation, considered a secondary source of AE, was found not to interfere with the SSP activity. The SSP was found experimentally to have 2-3 times the amplitude of the bulk wave AE. The lack of sufficient AE did not allow for determination of conclusive changes in the AE as the specimens approached failure. However, it was found that brittle crack extension in fatigue and ductile failure can produce wave propagation resembling the SSP.

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