2014 Volume 55 Issue 7 Pages 998-1002
A new approach of non-destructive testing for thick welded structural materials based on laser-ultrasonic technique is investigated. In this study, weld part of structural materials, which should be conventionally inspected after welding, is inspected during welding process in order to save time and cost of manufacturing. The laser-ultrasonic is a method to generate and detect ultrasonic signals by laser beams and has potential to be applied to remote inspection/monitoring of materials under welding at elevated temperature. Bulk longitudinal acoustic wave generated by a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser irradiation and detected as surface vibration by laser interferometer coupled with a long pulse detection laser is used to detect defects around the weld. To overcome the lack of sensitivity of laser-ultrasonic testing on thick welded part having a thickness of more than 100 mm at higher temperature, we have originally developed a modified synthesis aperture focus signal processing technique (m-SAFT). The in-process testing with actual piping weld having a thickness of 150 mm with high temperature more than 200 degrees C. was demonstrated. By using m-SAFT, an actual weld defect of 1.5 mm in diameter at 106 mm depth in the specimen was clearly observed. The measurement result well agreed with the result of conventional ultrasonic testing conducted after weld process and also the cross-sectional observation of the specimen.