Nonlinear feature extraction methods for removing temperature effects in multi-mode guided-waves in pipes


Ultrasonic guided-waves propagating in pipes with varying environmental and operational conditions (EOCs) are usually the results of complex superposition of multiple modes travelling in multiple paths. Among all of the components forming a complex guided-wave signal, the arrivals scattered by damage (so called scatter signal) are of importance for damage diagnosis purposes. This paper evaluates the potentials of nonlinear decomposition methods for extracting the scatter signal from a multi-modal signal recorded from a pipe under varying temperatures. Current approaches for extracting scatter signal can be categorized as (A) baseline subtraction methods, and (B) linear decomposition methods. In this paper, we first illustrate, experimentally, the challenges for applying these methods on multi-modal signals at varying temperatures. To better analyze the experimental results, the effects of temperature on multi-modal signals are simulated. The simulation results show that different wave modes may have significantly different sensitivities to temperature variations. This brings about challenges such as shape distortion and nonlinear relations between the signals recorded at different temperatures, which prevent the aforementioned methods to be extensible to wide range of temperatures. In this paper, we examine the potential of a nonlinear decomposition method, namely nonlinear principal component analysis (NLPCA), for removing the nonlinear relation between the components of a multi-modal guided-wave signal, and thus, extracting the scatter signal. Ultrasonic pitch-catch measurements from an aluminum pipe segment in a thermally controlled laboratory are used to evaluate the detection performance of the damage-sensitive features extracted by the proposed approach. It is observed that NLPCA can successfully remove nonlinear relations between the signal bases, hence extract scatter signal, for temperature variations up to 10℃, with detection accuracies above 99%.

Structural Health Monitoring and Inspection of Advanced Materials, Aerospace, and Civil Infrastructure 2015