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    ASTM E587 - 15

    Standard Practice for Ultrasonic Angle-Beam Contact Testing

    Active Standard ASTM E587 | Developed by Subcommittee: E07.06

    Book of Standards Volume: 03.03


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    Significance and Use

    4.1 An electrical pulse is applied to a piezoelectric transducer which converts electrical to mechanical energy. In the angle-beam search unit, the piezoelectric element is generally a thickness expander which creates compressions and rarefactions. This longitudinal (compressional) wave travels through a wedge (generally a plastic). The angle between transducer face and the examination face of the wedge is equal to the angle between the normal (perpendicular) to the examination surface and the incident beam. Fig. 1 shows the incident angle φi, and the refracted angle φr, of the ultrasonic beam.

    Subsurface reflectors may be detected by Rayleigh waves if they lie within one wavelength of the surface.

    4.3.4 Lamb Waves—Lamb waves travel at 90° to the normal of the test surface and fill thin materials with elliptical particle vibrations. These vibrations occur in various numbers of layers and travel at velocities varying from slower than Rayleigh up to nearly longitudinal wave velocity, depending on material thickness and examination frequency. Asymmetrical-type Lamb waves have an odd number of elliptical layers of vibration, while symmetrical-type Lamb waves have an even number of elliptical layers of vibration. Lamb waves are most useful in materials up to five wavelengths thick (based on Rayleigh wave velocity in a thick specimen of the same material). They will detect surface imperfections on both the examination and opposite surfaces. Centrally located laminations are best detected with the first or second mode asymmetrical Lamb waves (one or three elliptical layers). Small thickness changes are best detected with the third or higher mode symmetrical or asymmetrical-type Lamb waves (five or more elliptical layers). A change in plate thickness causes a change of vibrational mode just as a lamination causes a mode change. The mode conversion is imperfect and may produce indications at the leading and the trailing edges of the lamination or the thin area.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This practice covers ultrasonic examination of materials by the pulse-echo technique, using continuous coupling of angular incident ultrasonic vibrations.

    1.2 This practice shall be applicable to development of an examination procedure agreed upon by the users of the practice.

    1.3 The values stated in inch-pound units are regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are mathematical conversions to SI units that are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

    1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    E114 Practice for Ultrasonic Pulse-Echo Straight-Beam Contact Testing

    E317 Practice for Evaluating Performance Characteristics of Ultrasonic Pulse-Echo Testing Instruments and Systems without the Use of Electronic Measurement Instruments

    E543 Specification for Agencies Performing Nondestructive Testing

    E1316 Terminology for Nondestructive Examinations

    ASNT Documents

    ANSI/ASNT CP-189 Standard for Qualification and Certification of Nondestructive Testing Personnel

    Military Standards

    MIL-STD-410 Nondestructive Testing Personnel Qualification and Certification

    Aerospace Industries Association Document

    NAS 410 Certification and Qualification of Nondestructive Testing Personnel


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 19.100 (Non-destructive testing); 77.040.20 (Non-destructive testing of metals)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    Referencing This Standard
    Link Here
    Link to Active (This link will always route to the current Active version of the standard.)

    DOI: 10.1520/E0587-15

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    Citation Format

    ASTM E587-15, Standard Practice for Ultrasonic Angle-Beam Contact Testing, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2015, www.astm.org

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