The potential advantages of an ultrasonic method of stress measurement stem from the speed with which individual determinations can be made, the ability to determine stresses throughout the bulk of a component, and the nondestructive nature of the test. These advantages may be paramount where large numbers of components are involved, where stress contour mapping is required, where quality control is to be exercised over fabrication or structural erection, or where remote measurement is required in hostile environments or inaccessible locations.
The basis of the ultrasonic method is reviewed in terms of the interaction between acoustic wave motion and stress, materials proper ties, and the principle of superposition. Methods of analysis are considered and an assessment made of the practical limitations of the technique.
The application of the technique to problems on pipes, bolts, and electrical rotors is discussed and consideration is given to the work required to provide a rigorous basis for each application.
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