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Numerical Simulation of Guided Wave Inspection

Numerical simulation
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Finite element analysis (FEA) is used to simulate the propagation of guided waves in structures such as pipes and rails, and the interaction of these waves with defects.

This is instrumental in extending the capability of the TeleTest Focus testing equipment.

Our expertise

Numerical modelling is used to identify suitable wave modes for use in guided wave inspection, to simulate the interaction of guided waves with defects in structures, and to interpret the signals received during inspection of engineering components. To achieve accurate results these models require a small element size and small time-steps, so the use of parallel processing is essential to run the models in a reasonable timescale.

Advantages of a combined modelling and experimental approach include:

  • New techniques for measuring the dimensions of flaws
  • Optimised location of probes for defect detection
  • Evaluation of difficult situations, eg branches, joints
  • Development of the technology for new applications such as rails, storage tanks, bridge suspension cables and bridge prestressing tendons.

Benefits and applications

Numerical modelling has been used to extend the capability of Teletest to include assessment of defect size (eg the extent of corrosion damage to a pipeline) and identification of the circumferential location of a defect in a pipe. This information reduces operating costs for users by allowing decisions on maintenance to be made based on remote inspection, with no need for more costly local inspection.

Our track record

The use of FEA to extend the capability of guided wave inspection is described in a number of Industrial Member Reports, including:

  • 762/2003 ('Finite element analysis of long-range ultrasonic waves in metallic structures of arbitrary cross section')
  • 886/2007 ('Improvements in guided wave focusing technology for detection of defects in pipelines')
  • 911/2008 ('Innovative techniques for sizing locally thinned areas in straight pipes and for inspection beyond pipe bends using guided waves')
  • 1025/2012 ('Modelling and inspection of pipes containing bends using long-range guided waves').

For more information, please email

For more information please email: