Abstract

Experiments with an all-optical method for the study of the nonlinear acoustics of cracks in solids are reported. Nonlinear acoustic waves are initiated by the absorption of radiation from a pair of laser beams intensity modulated at two different frequencies. The detection of acoustic waves at mixed frequencies, absent in the frequency spectrum of the heating lasers, by optical interferometry or deflectometry provides unambiguous evidence of the elastic nonlinearity of the crack. The high contrast in crack imaging achieved by remote optical monitoring of the nonlinear acoustic processes is due to the strong dependence of the efficiency of optoacoustic conversion on the state of the crack. The highest acoustic nonlinearity is observed in the transitional state of the crack, which is intermediate between the open and the closed ones.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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