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Development of a Focused Ultrasonic Transducer for the Testing of the Wheel Seat in the Hollow Axle of Shinkansen Vehicles

[+] Author Affiliations
Yorinobu Murata, Hiroki Toda, Masataka Ikeda, Yoshiyuki Nii

Wakayama University, Wakayama, Japan

Jiro Yohso

Railway Technical Research Institute, Kokubunji-shi, Tokyo, Japan

Paper No. PVP2004-2822, pp. 103-110; 8 pages
  • ASME/JSME 2004 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Recent Advances in Nondestructive Evaluation Techniques for Material Science and Industries
  • San Diego, California, USA, July 25–29, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4679-2
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


In order to test the fretting fatigue cracks with high sensitivity, which occurred on the wheel seat of hollow axles of Shinkansen vehicles, the design of a focused ultrasonic transducer was proposed by a new method. The method was achieved by designing a suitable surface shape of the ultrasonic transducer through a reverse analysis of the wave propagation in the axle so that all radiated waves from the transducer were focused into a point region of the wheel seat with a same phase. A composite piezoelectric material was applied to the focused ultrasonic transducers in order to test with a shorter ultrasonic pulse. As the result of evaluating the performance of the developed focused ultrasound transducer, comparing with the previous plate-like ultrasonic transducer made using PZT, a great improvement was demonstrated in respect of sensitivity and directivity. Furthermore, the method inclining the ultrasonic beam slightly to the circumference direction and the method making the frequency characteristic of the transducer high were devised in order to reduce the influence of echoes by press fit. Consequently, it was demonstrated that a focused incline ultrasonic transducer of 10 MHz was possible to evaluate up to an artificial crack of about 0.17 mm depth with the SN ratio of 9 dB.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME



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