Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 37

ULTRASONIC TERMS IN N.D.T.

ACOUSTIC
Pertaining to sound and the science of sound

ACOUSTICAL
Sound with wave frequencies equal to or greater than 10 Hertz

ACOUSTICAL ABSORPTION
Sound wave attenuation resulting from sound energy being converted into heat energy

ACOUSTICAL ABSORPTION COEFFICIENT


A factor, which defines the ability of a material to convert sound energy into heat
energy

ACOUSTIC HOLOGRAPHY
Holograms produced by sound waves

ACOUSTICAL IMPEDANCE MATCHING


The coupling of two media so as to provide optimum transference of acoustical energy
between them

ACOUSTICALLY SIMILAR MATERIAL


A material having an acoustical velocity within 3% and an attenuation within  0.25
dB/inch of the inspected material for the inspection frequency and wave mode

ACOUSTIC IMPEDANCE
A combination of acoustic reactance and acoustic resistance; the product of the velocity
of sound in a material and the density of the material. Used in determining the
reflection characteristics of interfaces. Symbol : Z
The sound pressure required for unit particle displacement in different media varies in
proportion to their respective impedances.

ACOUSTICAL COUPLING
The condition whereby ultrasound passes from the probe into the material that is
under examination. It is produced by interposing a coupling medium such as oil
between the probe and the surface of the workpiece.

ACOUSTIC REACTANCE
The reaction to sound travelling through a material caused by the elasticity and inertia
of that material

1
ACOUSTIC RESISTANCE
The reaction to sound travelling through a material caused by internal friction in that
material

ACOUSTICAL SHADOW
The effect produced in a body by its geometry, or by a discontinuity in it, whereby
sound energy, when travelling in a particular direction, is prevented from reaching a
certain region within the body

ALTERNATING QUANTITY
A quantity, which periodically reverses its direction and has a mean value of zero

ANGLE BEAM TESTING


An ultrasonic testing method in which the angle of incidence is greater than zero, the
angle of sound beam being measured from the normal to the sound entry surface

ANGLE OF INCIDENCE
The angle between the incident beam and the normal (vertical) drawn to the point of
incidence

ANGLE OF REFLECTION
The angle between the reflected beam and the normal drawn to the point of incidence
Numerically equal to the angle of incidence

ANGLE OF REFRACTION
The angle between the refracted beam and the normal drawn to the point of refraction

ANGLE TRANSDUCER (PROBE)


A transducer used in angle beam testing in which the sound beam is set to some
predetermined angle to achieve a special effect such as setting up shear or surface
waves in the tested piece. The beam propagates at any angle of refraction between 0
and 90

ANGULATION
The technique of introducing a sound wave into a material at an angle other than
normal (vertical) to the surface, usually with the aid of a wedge introduced between the
crystal and the material

ANTINODE
The point or points of maximum amplitude in a standing wave system

2
A-SCAN PRESENTATION
The CRT screen image in which vertical indications representing the magnitude of
reflected ultrasonic waves are displayed as a function of a horizontal line representing
a calibrated time base, or distance travelled by the sound path.

ASME
American Society of Mechanical Engineers

ASTIGMATISM
A control, which can be used to correct distortion in a CRT display

ASTM
American Society for Testing Materials

ASTM BLOCK
A cylindrically-shaped reference block containing a flat-bottomed hole of a certain size
at a specified distance from the top of the block, used for calibration of ultrasonic test
equipment

ATTENUATION COEFFICIENT
A factor, which determines the diminution in amplitude of a wave per unit distance
travelled

ATTENUATION
The loss of sound energy in a material, mainly due to scattering of the sound beam

ATTENUATOR
An electronic device consisting of calibrated resistance, which artificially attenuate
sound energy. It can be used to measure attenuation

ATTITUDE
The lie, of a flaw or other reflector, relative to the incoming ultrasonic wave. An
attitude is said to be favourable or unfavourable for strong signal reflection.

AUDIBLE SOUND
Sound whose frequency ranges from 16 c/s to 20,000 c/s

AUTOMATIC SWEEP DELAY


An electronic feature used in immersion testing to "lock" the first echo (part interface)
in position regardless of changes in distance between the search unit and the surface of
the part being inspected

3
B

BACKING MATERIAL
The material placed behind transducer crystals to absorb internal interfering
vibrations

BACK REFLECTION (Bottom Echo, Back Echo, Back Reflection)


The signal from the far boundary of the test part

BACK SURFACE RESOLUTION


The minimum distance between the back surface and a discontinuity of a known size
that will give an indication whose trailing edge will clearly meet the horizontal sweep
line when the ultrasonic beam is perpendicular to the back surface

BAND PASS FILTER


A filter having a single transmission band, neither of the cut-off frequencies being zero
or infinite

BAND SPECTRUM
An emission spectrum consisting of fluted bands of colour

BAND STOP FILTER


A filter having a single attenuation band, neither of the cut-off frequencies being zero
or infinite

BANDWIDTH
The range of a band of different frequencies; the number of Hertz between the
maximum frequency of the range and the minimum frequency of the range

BARIUM TITANATE
A polarized, electrostrictive transducer material composed of many individual crystals
fired together (efficient sound generator, poor receiver, heat sensitive, has a tendency
to age)

BASE LINE
The horizontal trace across the A-scan CRT display; time base (represents time or
distance)

BEAM
A directed flow of energy into space or matter

BEAM ANGLE

4
The pre-determined angle at which a transducer emits a stream of ultrasonic
vibrations (normally the angle is calculated for examination of steel)

BEAM AXIS
The focus or train of points of maximum intensity in the far field of an ultrasonic beam

BEAM INDEX
The point in the working face of the probe, through which the emerging beam passes

BEAM PROFILE
A profile plotted from observation of the relative probe positions at which the response
from an appropriate target falls to a predetermined fraction or percentage of that
recorded when the target lies on the axis of the beam

BEAM SPREAD
The divergence of the main lobe of an ultrasonic beam in the far field

BOTTOM ECHO (First Echo)


An energy pulse reflected from the boundary of a body directly opposite to the surface
on which the probe (transducer) is positioned and returned to that surface by the
shortest path. The term is generally restricted to longitudinal waves

BOUNDARY ECHO (First Echo)


An energy pulse reflected from any boundary of a body to the surface on which the
probe is positioned, and returned to that surface by the shortest path. The term is
generally restricted to shear or surface waves

BRIDGE
A device used in immersion testing to support the manipulator and search tube and
provide a means of positioning them

BROAD BANDED
Used to describe instruments having an initial pulse with a relatively wide bandwidth
and an amplifier with response to a relatively wide range of frequencies

B-SCAN
A method of data presentation. This provides a cross-sectional view of the test part,
and the internal discontinuities. The horizontal sweep is proportional to the test piece,
with the vertical sweep proportional to the distance

5
C

C-SCAN
A means of data presentation, which provides a plan view of the test part and
discontinuities therein. Through gating, only echoes arising from the interior of the test
object are indicated. Cross-sectional area is shown, no depth of discontinuity

CALIBRATED DECIBEL ATTENUATOR


Electronic circuitry with which gain can be reduced finite amounts by switching
electrical signal attenuation into the circuit

CALIBRATION
The standardisation of the instrument prior to test, to a known reference value

CALIBRATION BLOCK
A piece of material of specified composition, heat treatment, geometric form and
surface finish by means of which ultrasonic equipment can be assessed and calibrated
for the examination of material of the same general composition

CATHODE RAY TUBE


A vacuum tube containing a phosphorescent screen upon which an electron beam
impinges to display an electronic signal

CHARACTERISTIC IMPEDANCE
The complex ratio of sound pressure to particle velocity at a point in the path of a
purely progressive sound wave. For a non-dissipative material it is equal to the product
of density and velocity

COAXIAL CABLE
An insulated tubular conductor containing a second insulated conductor

COLLIMATOR
A device for controlling the size of an ultrasonic beam

COLLIMATION
The process by which a divergent beam of energy or particles is converted into a
parallel beam

COMPRESSIONAL WAVE
A form of wave motion in which the particle displacement at each point in a material is
parallel to the direction of propagation. Also called dilational, irrotational or
longitudinal wave

6
CONCAVE LENS
A lens, which diverges parallel light or sound waves

CONTACT TESTING (Manual Testing)


An inspection method carried out by means of an ultrasonic transducer held in contact
with the body under examination with a film of couplant in between

CONTINUOUS SPECTRUM
The characteristic radiation pattern that exhibits energies for an unbroken series of
frequencies over a wide range

CONTINUOUS WAVE
A wave in which the successive oscillations are identical under steady-state conditions
(opposite of pulsed)

CONTRACTED SWEEP
A contraction of the horizontal sweep line or time axis on a CRT to permit viewing
reflections occurring over a greater length of time

CONTROL ECHO
Reference signal from a constant reflecting surface such as the back reflection from a
smooth, regular back surface

CONVEX LENS
A lens, which converges parallel sound or light rays

CORNER EFFECT
The reflection of ultrasonic waves back to their point of origin, or very close to it, after
impinging successively on two surfaces at right angles to each other. With 60 probes,
corner-reflection is accompanied by considerable attenuation

COUPLANT
A liquid, grease, paste or pliable solid interposed between two solids to assist the
passage of ultrasonic waves between them

CRITICAL ANGLE
The maximum angle of incidence at an interface between two dissimilar materials,
which will permit the existence of a refracted wave of a given mode, and a finite
amplitude
(A critical angle is an angle of incidence at an interface between two dissimilar
materials beyond which a new mode appears in the refracted beam and the existing
one vanishes)

7
CRITICAL ANGLE (FIRST)
The angle at which a plastic wedge must be cut to position the refracted longitudinal
wave at the surface of the part being inspected

CRITICAL ANGLE (SECOND)


The angle at which a plastic wedge must be cut to position the refracted transverse
wave at the surface of the part being inspected

CRITICAL SIZE
The established flaw size deemed to be detrimental to part serviceability

CROSS-NOISE (Cross-Talk)
Acoustical interference produced in the detecting element of a two-probe system (or of
a twin crystal probe) by surface wave energy generated by the transmitting probe.

CRYSTAL
A piezoelectric element in the form of a wafer placed in a search unit

CRYSTAL BACKING
The material attached to the rear surface of a crystal to increase damping

CRYSTAL MOSAICS
Two or more crystals mounted in the same plane in one holder and connected so as to
cause all crystals to vibrate as one unit

CRYSTAL ORIENTATION
Arrangement in space of the axes of a crystal with respect to a chosen reference or co-
ordinate system

CYCLE
Any series of changes imposed upon a system the final stage of which returns to its
original state.

CYLINDRICAL REFLECTOR
A reflecting surface in the form of a circular cylinder e.g. the drill hole target in a
reference block

8
D

DAMPING
Decrease or decay of ultrasonic wave amplitude with respect to time; a control on an
ultrasonic set, which adjusts the time duration of the pulse, applied to the transducer.

DAMPING CAPACITY
A measure of the ability of a material to dissipate mechanical energy by internal
friction

DAMPING MATERIAL
Material contained within a search unit to dampen ultrasound originating from the
back of the transducer element

DEAD ZONE (NULL ZONE)


The region in a material beneath the entry surface from which no direct echoes from
discontinuities can be either detected or identified due to the characteristics of the
ultrasonic equipment in association with the material under test

DECAY TECHNIQUE
A method of using ultrasonic waves to assess the quality of a material or a bond by
studying the amplitudes of successive echoes

DECIBEL (Db)
Unit for the logarithmic expression of the ratio of power levels. Decibel units have no
values of their own and are only significant when a reference is stated

DEFECT
A discontinuity, which interferes with the usefulness of a part or material

DEFECT REFLECTION
Oscilloscope presentation of the energy returned by a rejectable flaw in the material

DELAY COLUMN
A column, which is attached to a search unit and used to contain a delay line

DELAY LINE
Material (liquid or solid) placed in front of the search unit to cause a time delay
between the initial pulse and the front surface signal

DELAYED TIME BASE SWEEP


An A-scan or B-scan presentation in which the initial part of the time scale is not
displayed

9
DELTA EFFECT
A fan-like "spray" of acoustic energy originating from a reflective interface and
consisting of reflected shear waves, mode-converted longitudinal waves and secondary
stress waves

DELTA TECHNIQUE
An Ultrasonic examination technique utilising a receiving transducer placed normal to,
and a transmitting probe placed at an angle to the surface being tested

DENSITY
Mass per unit volume of a material

DIAPHRAGM
A thin layer of protective material forming an integral part of the probe and separating
the crystal from the couplant.

DIFFRACTION
The spreading of a wave motion into a region behind an obstruction

DIFFUSE REFLECTION
Reflection of an ultrasonic wave from a rough surface so that the angles of incidence
differ from the angles of reflection and the reflected energy is detectable over a range
of angles on either side of the theoretical angle of reflection

DIRECTIONAL SENSITIVITY
For a given target, this is the relationship between the angle made with the normal to
the surface of the target by a beam of ultrasonic waves and the amplitude of the
resulting echo. Shear wave s are sharply directional and this should be considered
when maximising a flaw echo

DISCONTINUITY
An interruption in the normal physical structure of the part. A discontinuity may or
may not affect the serviceability of a part (Primary, Fabricating, Processing or Service)

DISPERSION
The scattering of the ultrasonic beam as a result of reflection from a highly irregular
incident surface

DISTANCE AMPLITUDE CORRECTION


Compensation for variance in amplitude from equal reflectors at different sound travel
distances. Also used to denote electronic change of amplification to provide equal
reflectors at different sound travel distances
DISTANCE-AMPLITUDE CORRECTION CURVE

10
A curve constructed from the responses from a master target at several different
ranges and subsequently plotted on the CRT screen to facilitate judgement of the
significance of flaw echoes

DISTANCE CALIBRATION BLOCKS (DISTANCE AMPLITUDE BLOCKS)


A set of reference blocks used to determine the location or depth of a discontinuity,
based on the fact that the amplitude of a reflected signal is relative to the distance the
sound has to travel through the material. Blocks contain the same size test holes set at
different distances.

DOUBLE CRYSTAL METHOD


The method of ultrasonic testing using two transducers with one acting as the sending
unit and one as the receiving unit

DUAL CRYSTAL PROBE


A single search unit containing two transducer elements, one used as a transmitter of
ultrasound, the other used as a receiver of ultrasound

DYNAMIC RANGE
The ratio of maximum to minimum reflective areas that can be distinguished on the
Cathode Ray Tube at a constant gain setting

11
E

ECHO
Signal of reflected ultrasonic energy

ECHO AMPLITUDE
The total vertical or pulse height of the received signal, either base to peak or peak to
peak on an "A" scan type presentation

EFFECTIVE BEAM PROFILE


The effective beam form may be defined as the envelope of the beam outside which, at
any given instrument control setting, the signal from the target will have diminished by
90% in amplitude (or 20dB)

EFFECTIVE PENETRATION
The maximum depth in a material at which detection of discontinuities may be carried
out

ELASTIC CONSTANTS
Modulus of elasticity, either in tension, compression or shear and Poisson's ratio (vary
in crystals with the direction of the test)

ELASTIC DEFORMATIONS
Change of dimensions accompanying stress in the elastic range, original dimensions
being restored upon release of stress

ELASTICITY
That property of a material by virtue of which it tends to recover its original size and
shape after deformation

ELASTIC LIMIT
The maximum stress to which a material may be subjected without any permanent
strain remaining upon complete removal of stress

ELECTRONIC DISTANCE AMPLITUDE CORRECTION


A technique utilising electronic compensating circuitry to determine corrections
required to compensate for attenuation losses

ELECTROSTRICTIVE EFFECT
Mechanical deformation of a material subjected to electrical forces applied in any
direction, strain being independent of polarity

12
ENTRY SURFACE RESOLUTION
The minimum distance between the entry surface and a discontinuity of known size
that will produce a first echo indication whose leading edge will clearly meet the
horizontal sweep line when the ultrasonic beam is perpendicular to the entry surface

ENTRY SURFACE /SCAN SURFACE/PROBING SURFACES


That part of the surface from which the examination is being made and on which the
probe is resting at any given time.

EVALUATE
To decide as to the severity of the condition of a part after an indication has been
interpreted. Evaluation leads to the decision to reject, salvage or return to service the
part in question

EXIT POINT
The point on an angle beam search unit at which the centre of the sound beam leaves
the wedge

EXPANDED SWEEP
An expansion of the horizontal sweep line or time axis on the CRT to permit, when
used in conjunction with the sweep delay, the study of any portion of the signal pattern

13
F

FAR FIELD (FRAUNHOFFER ZONE)


The main lobe of an ultrasonic beam where the intensity of the sound field is inversely
proportional to the square of the distance from the transmitter. The zone of the sound
field in which equal reflectors give signals of exponentially decreasing amplitude with
increasing distance; Zone beyond the near field

FILTER
A network which transmits energy at frequencies within one or more frequency bands
and attenuates energy at all other frequencies

FLAT-BOTTOM HOLE
A type of reflector commonly used in reference standards

FLAW
An imperfection in an item or material, which may or may not be harmful

FLAW ECHO
The pulse of ultrasonic energy reflected by an imperfection in any material or body,
which is defined in the relevant specification or acceptance code as an unacceptable
feature

FOCAL SPOT
The spot at which the sound beam from a focused search unit converges to maximum
intensity

FOCUSED BEAM
A sound beam, which converges to a focal spot

FOCUSED SEARCH UNIT


A search unit used to produce a focused beam (has a lens in front of the transducer
element)

FREQUENCY
In wave motion, the number of cycles per second. Numerically equal to the velocity of
propagation divided by the wavelength.

FUNDAMENTAL FREQUENCY (FUNDAMENTAL RESONANT FREQUENCY)


In resonance testing, the frequency at which the wavelength is twice the thickness of the
part

14
G

GAIN CONTROL
An instrument control, which enables the amplification applied to a received signal to
be adjusted

GAP TESTING (SQUIRTER METHOD)


A technique utilising a double transducer search unit placed up to one-half inch away
from the material surface, the gap being filled by a flow of water during the scan

GATE
Electronic device to monitor signals in a selected segment of the distance trace on an A-
scan display

GATING TECHNIQUE
A technique in which a selected portion of the test signal wave is monitored by feeding
the signal to an amplifier which is only allowed to function for a short period of time
during each cycle

GHOST ECHO/IMAGE
Ultrasonic indications arising from a wrong combination of pulse repetition frequency
and time base frequency

GRASS
A random background of distributed signals on the screen of a CRT under conditions
of A-scope presentation, against which the defect signal has to be identified. Due either
to the gain setting, characteristics of the test equipment, or the material under
examination

GRATICULE
The network of parallel lines superimposed on the face of the CRT

15
H

HARMONICS
Those vibrations, which are integral multiples of the fundamental frequency (used in
resonance testing)

HASH
Numerous small indications appearing on the CRT indicative of many small
inhomogeneities in the material and/or background noise

HERTZ
The frequency of a periodic phenomenon of which the periodic time is one second. The
unit of frequency

HIGH SPEED SCANNING


A method of ultrasonic scanning whereby the part is moved past the transducer(s)

HOOKE'S LAW
Within the limit of perfect elasticity, strain is directly proportional to stress

HORIZONTAL LIMIT
The maximum readable length of horizontal deflection that is determined either by an
electrical or physical limit in the A-scan of an ultrasonic testing instrument (expressed
in inches or millimetres)

HORIZONTAL LINEARITY RANGE


The range of horizontal deflection in which a constant relationship exists between the
incremental horizontal displacement of vertical indications on the A-scan presentation
and the incremental time required for reflected waves to pass through a known length
in a uniform transmission medium

16
I

IMMERSION TESTING
The inspection method in which the search unit and the test part are submerged in a
fluid, usually water, which acts as the coupling medium

INDICATION
That which marks or denotes the presence of a material discontinuity and requires
interpretation to determine its significance

INITIAL PULSE (MAIN BANG)


Electrical pulse generated by the ultrasonic instrument, used to excite a search unit in
order to produce ultrasonic energy and as a fixed point from which to measure time
(distance)

INSPECTION
Process of visually examining and checking materials and parts for possible defects or
for deviation from established standards

INSPECTION FREQUENCY
Effective peak ultrasonic wave frequency used to inspect the test part

INTENSITY
The amount of sound passing per second through a unit area, usually expressed in
watts per square centimetre

INTERFACE
The transition region between two materials of different characteristic impedance in
acoustical contact

INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF WELDING REFERENCE BLOCK (V1)


A specific type of reference standard primarily used for the angle beam method, but
also used for the straight beam and surface wave methods of ultrasonic inspection. Also
known as the "Dutch" block

INTERPRETATION
The determination of the cause of an indication or the evaluation of the significance of
discontinuities from the standpoint of whether they are detrimental defects or
superficial blemishes
K

KILOHERTZ (KHz)
One thousand hertz or one thousand cycles per second

17
L

LAMB WAVE (PLATE WAVE)


An ultrasonic wave, which propagates within the thickness of a thin plate (thinner than
one wavelength) with a velocity dependent on the product of plate thickness and
frequency. It can only be generated at particular values of angles of incidence,
frequency and plate thickness.

LATERAL SCANNING
Movement of a transducer from side to side so that the sound beam travels parallel to a
line drawn to a point on the surface of the part being inspected. Useful for scanning the
root of a weld (with the aid of a guide strip)

LINEARITY
A condition whereby a change of one variable (in an equation or on a graph) produces
a directly proportionate change of another variable

LINEARITY (AREA)
A system response in which a linear relationship exists between the amplitude of
response and the defect sizes being evaluated (necessarily limited by the size of the
ultrasonic beam)

LINEARITY (DEPTH)
A system response where a linear relationship exists with varying depth for a constant
size defect

LITHIUM SULPHATE
A transducer material possessing optimum acoustic damping characteristics and
intermediate electro-mechanical conversion efficiency

LOSS OF BACK REFLECTION


The absence of an echo from the far surface of the part being inspected

LOWER LINEARITY LIMIT


The level of vertical deflection defining the lower limit of an observed constant
relationship between the amplitude of the indications on an A-scan screen and the
corresponding magnitude of the reflected ultrasonic wave from reflectors of a known
size

LUCITE
Trade name for the plastic material (polymethylmethacrylate) from which delay
blocks, and also probe wear shoes are made. Also known as Perspex or Plexiglas

18
M

MANIPULATOR
A device used to orientate the transducer assembly in immersion testing to provide
either angular or normal sound wave paths

MAP
To locate the boundaries of a discontinuity

MARKERS
Electronically generated pulses or other CRT base line deflections following one
another (used in distance measurement)

MATERIAL CALIBRATION
A variation of the sweep or range controls of an ultrasonic set (used to expand or
compress the baseline)

MATERIAL NOISE
Extraneous signals caused by the structure of the material being tested

MAXIMISING
Manipulation of the probe (traverse and/or rotation) to ensure that the signal displayed
is the strongest obtainable from the reflector concerned with that particular probe
angle

mc
Megacycle

MECHANICAL PROPERTIES
The properties of a material that reveal its elastic and inelastic behaviour when force is
applied, thereby indicating its suitability for mechanical applications; modulus of
elasticity, tensile strength, elongation, hardness and fatigue limit

MEGACYCLE
One million cycles; often used to express one million cycles per second

MEGAHERTZ (MHz)
One million hertz

MICRO
A prefix, which divides a unit by one million

19
MICROSECOND
One millionth of a second
MILLI
A prefix that divides a basic unit by one thousand

MINIATURE ANGLE BEAM BLOCK (V2)


A compact reference standard used for calibrating distance travel for shear wave
propagation and probe angles in material

MODE
Word used to describe particle motion in sound waves; the manner in which acoustic
energy is propagated through a material

MODE CONVERSION (MODE CHANGE)


The process by which a wave of a given mode of propagation is caused to generate
waves of other modes of propagation by refraction or reflection

MODE OF VIBRATION
Type of wave motion (longitudinal, transverse, surface etc.)

MODULUS OF ELASTICITY (YOUNG'S)


A measure of the rigidity of metal. The ratio of stress, within proportional limit, to the
corresponding strain. A high modulus of elasticity indicates a stiff metal

MONOCHROMATIC
Of the same wavelength

MOSAIC SEARCH UNIT


A search unit containing three or more crystals

MULTIPLE ECHO
The repeated reflection of an ultrasonic pulse between two or more surfaces or
discontinuities in a body

20
N

NEAR FIELD (FRESNEL ZONE)


The region of the ultrasonic beam adjacent to the search unit, having complex beam
profiles, which is subject to variations of intensity due to diffraction effects. It extends
from the source of sound radiation to a point just short of the far field

NEAR FIELD EFFECTS


Poor ultrasonic resolution arising from complex wave front characteristics in the near
field

NODE
A point on a surface where any ultrasonic wave form is reflected at the same angle as
the incident angle

NORMAL INCIDENCE
Incidence at right angles (perpendicular) to a surface

NORMAL PROBE
An ultrasonic probe from which waves propagate at 90 to its contact surface

ORBITAL SCANNING (Swivel scan)


Movement of a transducer in a circumferential path around a point on the surface of
the part and equidistant from that point

ORIENTATION
Position of a discontinuity or part or surface in relation to the test surface of the article
or the ultrasonic beam; arrangement in space of the axis of a crystal with respect to a
chosen reference or co-ordinate system. The angular relationship between a reflecting
surface and an incident wave

21
P

φ (P)
The Greek letter Phi. Symbol for the angle of a sound beam as measured from the
normal to a sound entry or sound reflecting surface

PARTICLE MOTION
Movement of particles in material brought about by the effects of the vibrating
transducer

PARTICLE DISPLACEMENT
The extent of the movement of a particle caused by the passage of a wave

PENETRATION
The maximum depth in a material from which indications can be measured

PITCH AND CATCH


An inspection method utilising a dual crystal transducer

PLANAR
A reflector whose surface lies essentially in one plane

PLANE WAVE
A wave in which points of the same phase lie on parallel plane surfaces

PLATED CRYSTAL
A crystal on which metallic surfaces have been deposited for protection and/or to give
surfaces on which the electrical potential can be impressed

PLANAR REFLECTOR
A reflector of ultrasound situated perpendicular to the examination surface at or near
either surface

PLANE WAVE
A wave in which points of the same phase lie on parallel plane surfaces. The definitions
of ‘Reflection factor’ and ‘Transmission factor’ are based on the relatively simple
mathematics of the plane wave

PRESENTATION
The method used to show ultrasonic wave formation. May include A, B, or C-scan
displays on recorders or CRT's

22
PROBE (TRANSDUCER, SEARCH UNIT)
A device for transmitting and/or receiving ultrasound. It converts electrical energy to
mechanical energy and vice versa.

PROBE INDEX
The point on a shear wave or a surface wave probe through which the emergent beam
passes

PROPAGATION
Advancement of a wave through a medium, or the extension (through fatigue or
vibration etc.)of a crack inside a material

PULSE
A short wave-train or series of vibrations or oscillations. A damped wave train
employed in the pulse-echo technique, so that the amplitude falls to one-tenth of its
peak value in not more than five cycles

PULSE ECHO TECHNIQUE


A technique in which the presence of a discontinuity in a material is indicated by the
reflection of ultrasound pulses from it; a thickness measuring technique

PULSE ENERGY
The total energy associated with a single pulse

PULSE ENVELOPE
The outline of a pulse indication

PULSE GENERATOR (PULSER)


The electronic component, which produces the voltage that activates the search unit

PULSE LENGTH
A measure of the duration of a pulse expressed in time or the number of cycles

PULSED WAVES
Wave 'trains' of sound introduced into a material at short intervals

PULSE FLARE
The CRT display resulting from a ringing transducer. Also called ringing signals

PULSE REPETITION FREQUENCY (PULSE REPETITION RATE)


The number of pulses transmitted per second (abbr. PRF/PRR)

23
PULSE TUNING
A control on some ultrasonic sets, used to optimise the response of the search unit and
cable to the transmitter

PULSE WIDTH
The time interval between the leading and trailing edges of a pulse, usually measured
at the half-amplitude value

Q (OF A TRANSDUCER)
The ratio of the crystals fundamental resonant frequency to the crystal's bandwidth
Increasing the Q increases the sensitivity of the examination system
The higher the Q, the longer the crystal rings

QUARTZ
An electrically and thermally stable transducer material, which resists ageing and wear
and is insoluble in most liquids. It has low electro-mechanical conversion efficiency

24
R

RADIO FREQUENCY PRESENTATION (RF DISPLAY)


A CRT signal, which is not rectified and thus displays signals both above and below the
base line. Signal height is measured peak to peak

RANGE
The distance from a transmitter to a reflector, measured along the beam axis. The
range is one-half of the total path length travelled by the pulse

RATE GENERATOR (TRIGGER)


The electronic device in an ultrasonic set which co-ordinates the periodic simultaneous
operation of the pulser and sweep generator

RECOGNITION ENVELOPE
A group of echo signals comprising several successive reflections from a discontinuity
which are characteristic of its size, shape and texture

REFERENCE BLOCKS
A block or series of blocks of material containing artificial or actual discontinuities of
one or more reflecting areas set at one or more distances from the test surface, used for
reference in defining the size and distance of defective areas in materials

REFLECTED PULSE
An ultrasonic pulse arising from the reflection of an incident pulse at an acoustical
discontinuity

REFLECTION
An indication arising as a result of an incident sound beam being reflected at the
boundary of two materials or dissimilar acoustic impedance

REFLECTOGRAM (OSCILLOGRAM)
A photograph of an oscilloscope (CRT) display

REFLECTOGRAPH
A recording or chart made of either the signal transmitted through a part and/or
reflected back from defects within a part

REFLECTOR
An interface from which ultrasound is reflected

25
REFRACTED BEAM
The beam produced in the second medium when an ultrasonic beam passes obliquely
from one medium to another when each medium has different sound velocities

REFRACTING PRISM
A prism or wedge, usually of plastic, which when placed in acoustical contact between
an ultrasonic crystal and a body will cause ultrasound to be refracted at a known angle
into that body

REFRACTION
Bending of a sound beam when passing through an interface

REFRACTIVE INDEX
The ratio of the velocity of a wave in one medium to the velocity of the same wave in
the second medium, or a measure of the amount a wave will be refracted when it enters
the second medium

REJECT (SUPPRESSION)
A control used to eliminate or minimise low amplitude signals (noise, grass etc.) so
those larger signals are emphasised. Use of this control can affect the linearity of the
amplifier

RESOLUTION
The clarity with which signals arising from material discontinuities may be separated
from each other

RESONANCE
A condition under which materials vibrate at their natural frequencies (or harmonics
thereof). If a probe is generating sound at this frequency, standing waves will be set up
in the material resulting in abnormally large amplitudes of vibration

RESONANCE TESTING
A technique which involves varying the frequency of ultrasonic waves to excite a
maximum amplitude of vibration in a body, generally for the purpose of determining
thickness from one side only. Resonance is induced when the wavelength of the
transmitter is twice the thickness of the plate. If the former is known, then the latter
can be calculated

RESONANT FREQUENCY
The frequency at which a body will vibrate freely after being set in motion by some
outside force

26
RINGING METHOD
A method of inspecting bonded structures in which disbonds are indicated by increased
amplitude-ringing signals

RINGING SIGNALS
Closely spaced multiple signals, which can be caused by multiple reflections in a thin
material or continued vibration in a transducer element

RINGING TIME
The time that the mechanical vibrations of a transducer element continue after the
electrical pulse has stopped

ROTATIONAL SCAN
Movement of a transducer's sound beam around a point located directly below the
transducer. Used to determine the reflection characteristics of a discontinuity so that
identification is easier. (Slag compared to Lack of Fusion response)

27
S

SATURATION LEVEL
The maximum signal height that can be viewed on a CRT

SCANNING
Systematic relative displacement between the ultrasonic beam and the material under
test (Rotational, Orbital, Lateral, Traverse). A method of preliminary inspection using
a higher instrument gain or sensitivity level than will be used for the final evaluation

SCATTERING
The random reflecting effect those coarse grained and porous materials have on sound

SC BLOCK
Sensitivity calibration block

SEARCH TUBE
The waterproof tube, on which one of the transducers is mounted, and who’s other end
is coupled to the ultrasonic test equipment during immersion testing

SEARCH UNIT
An assembly comprised of a piezoelectric transducer, electrical connector and a
suitable mounting used for generating and/or receiving ultrasound

SELF-DAMPING CRYSTAL
The natural ability of an ultrasonic crystal to dissipate its vibrational energy

SENSITIVITY
The level of signal amplification, to which the receiver of an instrument is set.
A gain setting chosen after an exploratory scan to assess the examination conditions
and recorded by reference to an appropriate test block

SENSITIVITY CALIBRATION BLOCKS (AREA AMPLITUDE BLOCKS)


A set of reference blocks used to evaluate flaw size by comparing the amplitude of the
signal reflected from a defect with the amplitude of the same signal reflected from a
hole flat bottom in one of the blocks. Holes measure from 1/64" to 8/64" set at 3" of
metal travel

SHADOW
A region in a body, which cannot be reached by ultrasound travelling in a given
direction because of the geometry of the body or a discontinuity in it

28
SHEAR
That type of force which causes or tends to cause two parts of the same body to slide
relative to each other in a direction parallel to their plane of contact

SHEAR WAVE (ROTATIONAL, TRANSVERSE WAVE)


A form of wave motion possible only in solids, in which the particle displacement is at
right angles to the direction of propagation

SHOE
Device used to adapt a straight beam search unit for use in a specific type of inspection
such as a curved surface, angle beam or surface wave inspection around a fastener
hole, etc.

SIDE LOBE ENERGY


Ultrasonic energy emitted from a search unit to the sides of the main sound beam

SIGNAL
Vertical deflection from the base line on an A-scan presentation

SIGNAL-TO-NOISE RATIO
The ratio of the amplitude of a signal arising from a discontinuity in a material to the
amplitude of the average background noise signal

SINGLE PROBE TECHNIQUE


A technique involving a single crystal probe for both transmission and detection of
ultrasonic waves

SKIP DISTANCE
For a beam of shear waves entering a body, the skip distance is that distance measured
over the surface of the body between the probe index and the point where the beam
axis impinges on the surface after following a double traverse path

SNELL'S LAW
The law defining properties of refraction utilising the index of refraction for light
travelling through successive media, also relates to the velocity of sound in a material
for sound travelling from one medium to another, and stating that sin I /sin R is
constant for all angles of incidence

SOUND INTENSITY
Energy transfer through unit area of a wave surface. Not to be confused with sound
pressure

29
SOUND PRESSURE
The force exerted per unit area of wave surface upon particles in that surface.
In Longitudinal waves, the alternating compression and extension takes place at right
angles to the wave surface, and in transverse waves the shearing force is exerted in a
direction parallel to the wave surface

SPECIFIC ACOUSTIC IMPEDANCE


A factor which determines the amount of reflection which occurs at an interface and
represents the product of the density of the medium in which the wave is travelling and
the wave velocity

SPECULAR REFLECTION
Reflection characteristic of a smooth, plane surface so that only one angle of incidence
obtains over the entire surface of the reflector, and consequently, only one angle of
reflection

SPURIOUS ECHO (PARASITIC ECHO)


A term used for any indication not obviously associated with a defect or boundary

STANDING WAVE (STATIONARY WAVE)


A wave in which the energy flux is at zero at all points due to the effect produced by the
superposition of wave trains moving in opposite directions with the formation of
stationary nodes and antinodes. These are produced by the interaction (interference) of
trains of waves of the same frequency and amplitude. These waves must be continuous,
not pulsed

STRAIGHT BEAM TESTING


An ultrasonic test method utilising a vibrating, pulsed wave train travelling normal to
the test surface

SURFACE WAVE
Any ultrasonic wave, which propagates on the surface of a body, characterised by
elliptical particle motion having effective penetration of less than one wavelength

SURFACE PREPARATION
The processing of a surface needed to provide adequate acoustical coupling. Unduly
high surface finish results in tight coupling with its associated noise and spurious
echoes

30
SURFACE WAVE PROBE
A probe, similar in appearance to a shear wave probe, designed to provide an angle of
refraction of 90 (in steel)

SURFACE WAVE VELOCITY


Nine-tenths of the velocity of shear waves (Steel x 0.92, Aluminium 0.93)

SWEEP
The uniform and repeated movement of an electron beam across the CRT

SWEEP DELAY
The control of an ultrasonic set used for adjusting the time of starting the sweep
presentation

SWEEP LENGTH
The length of time or distance represented by the horizontal base line of an A-scan

SWEPT GAIN
A design feature, whereby echoes from reflectors at relatively long ranges appear on
the screen at the same height as those reflectors close to the surface. Extremely useful
in cases where the attenuation value in the work-piece is high

SYNCHRONIZER (CLOCK, TIMER)


An electronic device, which controls the frequency of an ultrasonic instrument and co-
ordinates the timing of other components

31
T

TARGET
A generic name applying to reflectors of all kinds but particularly to the holes, slits,
and notches provided in calibration and reference blocks

TEST FREQUENCY
The nominal frequency of vibration generated by the transducer crystal employed for
ultrasonic testing and as marked on the probe

TEST SURFACE
The surface of a test part through which the ultrasonic energy used for inspecting
initially enters the test part

TIME BASE
A horizontal trace on the screen of a CRT, and generated in such a way that distance
along it is proportional to time

THROUGH TRANSMISSION TESTING


An inspection method in which ultrasound is generated on one surface by one search
unit and received at an opposite surface by another search unit

TOTAL ATTENUATION
The diminution of intensity of a particular wave mode during one round trip in the
material, resulting from the combined efforts of absorption, scatter, and geometric
beam spread

TRANSCIEVER
A probe in which the same crystal is used both to generate and detect ultrasonic energy

TRANSDUCER
A device which transforms one type of energy into another. A probe crystal is a
‘bilateral, electromechanical transducer’ because, by virtue of the reverse piezoelectric
effect, what is normally its output, i.e.: electrical energy, can be used as input

TRANSDUCER ELEMENT
Crystal

TRANSFER
Compensation for differences in signal amplitude from equivalent reflectors in a test
part and the reference standard used in an inspection

TRANSMISSION ANGLE

32
The incident angle of the transmitted ultrasonic beam. It is zero degrees when
perpendicular (normal, vertical) to the test surface

TRANSMISSION CHARACTERISTICS
Characteristics of a test part which influence the transmitting and receiving of
ultrasonic energy in an inspection, including surface effects and internal effects

TRANSMISSION FACTOR (Transmission Coefficient)


‘The ratio of ultrasonic wave intensity transmitted across an interface to the total wave
energy incident on that interface’. Therefore the transmission factor T is equal to

T = 2 x Z’’
Z’’ + Z’
Where Z’ and Z’’ are the acoustic impedances of the two media involved and the
incident wave is a plane wave.

TRANSMISSION POINT
The point on the time base, which corresponds to the instant at which ultrasonic energy
enters the material under test

TRANSMISSION TECHNIQUE (Shadow Technique)


A technique in which the quality of a material is assessed by the intensity of he
ultrasonic radiation incident on a detecting probe after the radiation has been
transmitted through the material. Continuous Waves, not pulsed are used by this
method.

TRANSMISSION POINT
The point on the time base which corresponds to the instant at which the ultrasonic
energy enters the material under examination

TRANSMISSION WITH REFLECTION


An inspection method utilising two probes on the same side of the material (one
transmitter and one receiver)

TRANSMITTER
Search unit used to generate ultrasound in a test part

TRAVERSE SCANNING
A scanning technique performed by moving the transducer alternately away from and
toward a point on the test piece

TRIGGER CIRCUIT
An electronic device for actuating an alarm or rejection mechanism operated by a pre-

33
determined size of signal

TUNED
Used to describe instruments having an initial pulse with a relatively narrow
bandwidth and/or amplifier with response to a relatively narrow range of frequencies

ULTRASONIC ABSORPTION
A dampening of ultrasonic vibrations that occurs when the sound wave travels through
the medium

ULTRASONIC MODE CHANGER


A device, which causes vibrations of a particular mode in one body to produce
vibrations of another mode in another body

ULTRASONIC PENETRATION
A relative term denoting the ability of an ultrasonic testing system to inspect material
exhibiting high absorption or scattering

ULTRASONIC SPECTRUM
The frequency span associated with elastic waves greater than the highest audible
frequency, generally regarded as being higher than 2.0 x 104 cps to approximately 109
cps

UPPER LINEARITY LIMIT


The level of vertical deflection defining the upper limit of an observed constant
relationship between the amplitude of the indications on an A-scan screen and the
corresponding magnitude of the reflected ultrasonic wave from reflectors of a known
size

34
V

VERTICAL LIMIT (SATURATION)


The maximum readable level of vertical indications is determined either by an
electrical or a physical limit in the A-scan presentation of an ultrasonic test instrument
(expressed in inches or millimetres); maximum readable indications measured peak to
peak for RF displays

VERTICAL LINEARITY
Constant relationship between the amplitude of the indications on an A-scan display
and the corresponding magnitudes of the reflected ultrasonic waves from reflectors of
a known size

VIDEO PRESENTATION
A CRT presentation, in which rectified signals are displayed, no indications appear
below the time base, which is normally placed near the bottom of the CRT display

35
W

WATER COLUMN DELAY


A coupling technique utilising the projection of an ultrasonic beam through a water
filled column attached to a search unit

WATER PATH
The distance from the search unit face to the test part front surface in immersion
inspection or inspection using a water column delay

WAVE FRONT
A continuous surface drawn through all points, in a wave disturbance, which have the
same phase

WAVE INTERFERENCE
The production of a series of maxima and minima of pressure or particle velocity
caused as a consequence of the superposition of waves of the same frequency waves
having different phases

WAVE MOTION
The temporary departure of the particles of a medium from the equilibrium state
caused by the passage of a stress wave.

WAVE TRAIN
A succession of waves arising from a common source and propagating along a common
path

WEAR FACE
A device attached to the face of a transducer to prevent wear of the element

WEDGE TESTING
The ultrasonic testing method utilising a plastic wedge between the transducer crystal
and the test piece for purposes of directing ultrasound into the part at an angle,
thereby allowing the inspection of area inaccessible for contact testing

WETTING AGENT
A substance added to a coupling liquid to promote acoustical coupling by reducing the
surface tension of the liquid

WHEEL SEARCH UNIT


A device, which couples ultrasonic energy to a test surface through the rolling contact
area of a wheel containing a liquid and one or more transducer elements

36
X

X-CUT CRYSTAL
Section cut so that its thickness is parallel to the X-axis of the crystal. A thickness-
extensional mode of vibration occurs when excited

Y-CUT CRYSTAL
A crystal section cut so that its thickness is parallel to the Y-axis of the crystal. A
thickness-shear mode of vibration occurs when excited

Z-CUT CRYSTAL
A crystal section cut so that its thickness is parallel to the Z-axis of the crystal.
Piezoelectric effect is restricted to the X and Y-axis; therefore the mode of vibration is
width-extensional

ZERO ANGLE PROBE (Normal Probe)


A compressional wave probe in which the angle of incidence is 0, i.e. the beam axis
coincides with the surface normal

37