Abstract

In this paper a new ultrasonic testing system is described that utilizes noncontact optical methods to generate and detect surface acoustic waves (SAWs) and has significant applications in the nondestructive evaluation of surface material. A narrowband SAW is generated with a new and straightforward grating mask image projection method that provides fast switching and a controllable frequency band, and hence control of the penetration depth of the ultrasonic wave. A narrowband SAW with center frequency above 30MHz, and hence better depth resolution, is generated. The detection of the SAW is performed with a simplified design of an optical fiber interferometer that has good sensitivity and manoeuvrability without requiring additional auxiliary components. The novel combination of these two optical techniques permits the measurement of small samples that are otherwise difficult to measure, especially nondestructively. A model was constructed to simulate the temporal characteristics of the generated narrowband SAW and showed good agreement with experiment. Measurements on an aluminum sample and an extracted human incisor demonstrate the system’s performance.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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