Air-coupled ultrasound inspection of glued laminated timber

Sanabria, Sergio J. ; Furrer, Roman ; Neuenschwander, Jürg ; Niemz, Peter ; Sennhauser, Urs

In: Holzforschung, 2011, vol. 65, no. 3, p. 377-387

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    A novel air-coupled ultrasound (ACU) 120kHz normal transmission system enabled successful imaging of bonding and saw cut defects in multilayered glulam beams up to 280mm in height with a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 40dB. The main wave propagation paths were modeled; quasi-longitudinal and quasi-transverse modes were coupled in each lamella and the sound field was found to be shifted from the insonification axis as a function of the ring angle, leading to interference of wave paths in the receiver and to 15dB amplitude variability in defect-free glulam. The assessment was improved with spatial processing algorithms that profited from the arbitrary scanning resolution and high reproducibility of ACU. Overlapped averaging reduced in-band noise by 15dB, amplitude tracking captured only the first incoming oscillation, thus minimizing diffraction around defect regions, and image normalization compensated 6dB of systematic amplitude variability across the fiber direction. The application of ACU to in situ defect monitoring was demonstrated by using multiparameter difference imaging of measurements of the same sample with and without saw cut defects. The segmentation of the defect geometry was improved significantly and the amplitude variability was reduced by 10dB. Further work is planned to model additional insonification setups and grain and density heterogeneities