Non-contact ultrasonic technique for rapid and advanced analysis of fibrous materials

T. Periyaswamy, T. P. Lerch, K. Balasubramanian

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Fibrous ensembles are, typically, multi-scale flexible assemblies with unique physical and rheological properties, unlike continuum materials. Macroscopic behaviors of these materials are greatly the result of non-linear interactions at the micro levels. These micro-scale interactions can be assessed by capturing the material behavior under low mechanical stress conditions. While ultrasonic based non-destructive testing was suitably implemented for continuum materials, their application to fibrous structures was limited primarily due to the inherent structural arrangements of these unique assemblies. Discontinuities, non-uniform orientations and multi-phase components make these ensembles difficult to study using the existing scan-based methods. This work presents a novel rapid and advanced analysis tool for complex fibrous systems using a noncontact air-coupled ultrasonic system. Five characteristic features of ultrasound signals transmitted through fibrous structures were studied, i.e., dampness in signal flight, signal velocity, power spectral density, signal power and rate of amplitude attenuation. Analysis of these features under two different acoustic frequencies, 500 kHz and 1 MHz, allowed us to study the componentized behavior of these materials for three of the key mechanical properties including bending rigidity, shear rigidity and low stress tensile stress. A material response index (MRI) was also derived using the signal features.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReview of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2012
Event38th Annual Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation, QNDE - Burlington, VT, United States
Duration: Jul 17 2011Jul 22 2011

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


Conference38th Annual Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation, QNDE
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBurlington, VT


  • Air-Coupled Ultrasonic
  • Fibrous Materials
  • Material Characterization


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