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Modelling methods... a deeper understanding of the behaviour of long range ultrasonic waves - Industrial Member Report 762/2003


Finite element analysis of long range ultrasonic waves in metallic structures of arbitrary cross section

TWI Industrial Member Report Summary 762/2003

R Sanderson


Many engineering structures have a uniform cross section along the length, therefore making long-range ultrasonic testing a viable technique for finding defects in long lengths of these structures. One example of a structure with a uniform cross section is a rail.

Recent incidents such as the Hatfield train crash have sparked off more investment into safety in the rail industry. A major contributor to rail safety is the condition of the rails.

Rails can suffer many forms of damage from the train itself that could eventually cause failure. There are many miles of rail track in most countries and a program to inspect every rail individually would be impractical and expensive.


  • To use modelling to develop a method for obtaining a dispersion curve for a general cross section
  • To use modelling to predict the behaviour of ultrasonic wave propagation behaviour in structures
  • To develop a method for characterising which wave modes are present in the structure
  • To validate the methods with an experiment in a structure with a non axisymmetric cross section

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