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  1. One of the challenges of additive manufacturing is quality control due to the possibility of unseen flaws in the final product. The current methods of inspection are lacking in detail, too slow for practical use, or unable to validate internal structure. This report examines the use of laser ultrasound spectroscopy in layer by layer scans of 3D printed parts as they are created. The result is fast and detailed quality control. An additional advantage of this method is the ability to cancel a print as soon as a defect is detected, therefore saving materials and time. This technique, though simplemore » in concept, has been a challenge to implement. I discuss tweaking the 3D printer configuration, and finding the optimal settings for laser scanning small parts made of ABS plastic, as well as the limits of how small of a detail the laser can detect. These settings include the frequency of the ultrasonic transducer, the speed of the laser, and the distance from the laser to the part.« less
  2. A gasifier’s temperature is the primary characteristic that must be monitored to ensure its performance and the longevity of its refractory. One of the key technological challenges impacting the reliability and economics of coal and biomass gasification is the lack of temperature sensors that are capable of providing accurate, reliable, and long-life performance in an extreme gasification environment. This research has proposed, demonstrated, and validated a novel approach that uses a noninvasive ultrasound method that provides real-time temperature distribution monitoring across the refractory, especially the hot face temperature of the refractory. The essential idea of the ultrasound measurements of segmentalmore » temperature distribution is to use an ultrasound propagation waveguide across a refractory that has been engineered to contain multiple internal partial reflectors at known locations. When an ultrasound excitation pulse is introduced on the cold side of the refractory, it will be partially reflected from each scatterer in the US propagation path in the refractory wall and returned to the receiver as a train of partial echoes. The temperature in the corresponding segment can be determined based on recorded ultrasonic waveform and experimentally defined relationship between the speed of sound and temperature. The ultrasound measurement method offers a powerful solution to provide continuous real time temperature monitoring for the occasions that conventional thermal, optical and other sensors are infeasible, such as the impossibility of insertion of temperature sensor, harsh environment, unavailable optical path, and more. Our developed ultrasound system consists of an ultrasound engineered waveguide, ultrasound transducer/receiver, and data acquisition, logging, interpretation, and online display system, which is simple to install on the existing units with minimal modification on the gasifier or use with new units. This system has been successfully tested with a 100 kW pilot scale down flow oxyfuel combustor, capturing in real time temperature changes during all relevant combustion process changes. The ultrasound measurements have excellent agreement with thermo- couple measurements, and appear to be more sensitive to temperature changes before the thermocouples response, which is believed to be the first demonstration of ultrasound measurements segmental temperature distribution across refractories.« less
  3. Under certain environmental conditions, polyvinyl toluene (PVT) plastic scintillator has been observed to undergo internal fogging. This document reports on a study of acoustic techniques to determine whether they can provide a diagnostic for the fogging of PVT. Different ultrasound techniques were employed for detecting the level of internal fogging in PVT, including wave velocity measurements, attenuation, nonlinear acoustics, and acoustic microscopy. The results indicate that there are linear relations between the wave velocity and wave attenuation with the level of internal fogging. The effects of fogging on ultrasound wave attenuation is further verified by acoustic microscopy imaging, where regionsmore » with fog in the specimen demonstration higher levels of attenuation compared to clear regions. Results from the nonlinear ultrasound measurements were inconclusive due to high sensitivities to transducer coupling and fixture variabilities.« less
  4. The University of Minnesota and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are collaborating on the design and construction of a concrete specimen with sufficient reinforcement density and cross-sectional size to represent a light water reactor (LWR) containment wall with various defects. The preliminary analysis of the collected data using extended synthetic aperture focussin technique (SAFT) reconstruction indicated a great potential of the ultrasound array technology for locating relatively shallow distresses. However, the resolution and reliability of the analysis is inversely proportional to the defect depth and the amount of reinforcement between the measurement point and the defect location. The objective of thismore » round of testing is to evaluate repeatability of the obtained reconstructions from measurements with different frequencies as well as to examine the effect of the duration of the sending ultrasound signal on the resulting reconstructions. Two series of testing are performed in this study. The objective of the first series is to evaluate repeatability of the measurements and resulting reconstructed images. The measurements use three center frequencies. Five measurements are performed at each location with and without lifting the device. The analysis of the collected data suggested that a linear array ultrasound system can produce reliably repeatable reconstructions using 50 kHz signals for relatively shallow depths (less than 0.5 m). However, for reconstructions at the greater depths the use of lower frequency and/or signal filtering to reduce the effect of signal noise may be required. The objective of the second series of testing is to obtain measurements with various impulse signal durations. The entire grid on the smooth surface is tested with four different various impulse signal durations. An analysis of the resulting extended SAFT reconstructions suggested that Kirchhoff-based migration leads to easier interpreting reconstructions when shorter duration impulse is used. Longer duration impulses may provide useful information for model-based reconstructions.« less
  5. Mechanical properties are controlled to a large degree by defect structures such as dislocations and grain boundaries. These microstructural features involve a perturbation of the perfect crystal lattice (i.e. strain fields). Viewed in this context, high frequency strain waves (i.e. ultrasound) provide a natural choice to study microstructure mediated mechanical properties. In this presentation we use laser ultrasound to probe mechanical properties of materials. This approach utilizes lasers to excite and detect ultrasonic waves, and as a consequence has unique advantages over other methods—it is noncontacting, requires no couplant or invasive sample preparation (other than that used in metallurgical analysis),more » and has the demonstrated capability to probe microstructure on a micron scale. Laser techniques are highly reproducible enabling sophisticated, microstructurally informed data analysis. Since light is being used for generation and detection of the ultrasonic wave, the specimen being examined is not mechanically coupled to the transducer. As a result, laser ultrasound can be carried out remotely, an especially attractive characteristic for in situ measurements in severe environments. Several examples involving laser ultrasound to measure mechanical properties in high temperature environments will be presented. Emphasis will be place on understanding the role of grain microstructure.« less
  6. New measurement techniques are central to the advancement of science. One emerging strategy, made possible today by the accessibility of powerful personal computers, is the development of instrumentation that requires massive computational power to produce otherwise unobtainable results. RUS is an example.
  7. Presentation at departmental seminars at LANL and at LANL-CNU Engineering Institute, Korea.
  8. Ultrasound image resolution and quality need to be significantly improved for breast microcalcification detection. Super-resolution imaging with the factorization method has recently been developed as a promising tool to break through the resolution limit of conventional imaging. In addition, wave-equation reflection imaging has become an effective method to reduce image speckles by properly handling ultrasound scattering/diffraction from breast heterogeneities during image reconstruction. We explore the capabilities of a novel super-resolution ultrasound imaging method and a wave-equation reflection imaging scheme for detecting breast microcalcifications. Super-resolution imaging uses the singular value decomposition and a factorization scheme to achieve an image resolution thatmore » is not possible for conventional ultrasound imaging. Wave-equation reflection imaging employs a solution to the acoustic-wave equation in heterogeneous media to backpropagate ultrasound scattering/diffraction waves to scatters and form images of heterogeneities. We construct numerical breast phantoms using in vivo breast images, and use a finite-difference wave-equation scheme to generate ultrasound data scattered from inclusions that mimic microcalcifications. We demonstrate that microcalcifications can be detected at full spatial resolution using the super-resolution ultrasound imaging and wave-equation reflection imaging methods.« less

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