Early detection of steel tube welded joint failure using SPC-I nonlinear ultrasonic technique

Se Hyuk Park, Imraan Bokhari, Hamad Alnuaimi, Umar Amjad, Robert Fleischman, Tribikram Kundu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Welding is a commonly used method for joining two or more parts together in steel construction. Various defects in weld regions such as cracks, pores, and slag inclusion can be present from the beginning, generated during the welding process, or can be developed while in service. Such defects are the weak spots that degrade the structure’s quality and can lead to structural failures. Therefore, early detection of these defects in welded joints, before visible cracks appear, is very important. Using appropriate ultrasonic non-destructive testing and evaluation (NDT&E) techniques, one can detect these defects and take remedial actions to prevent catastrophic structural failures. Guided acoustic wave-based techniques have been proven to be effective for damage detection in steel pipes and rods. Several studies have previously attempted to detect damage in steel tubes using guided ultrasonic waves. Unlike earlier attempts which mostly focused on conventional linear ultrasonic techniques, a relatively new nonlinear ultrasonic technique called sideband peak count-index (SPC-I) is carried out in this research. For this investigation, cast steel components and round hollow structural sections are welded together, and a four-point bending test is conducted under fatigue loading. The welded joints are continuously monitored in real time using strain gages and lead zirconate titanate (PZT) transducers. The PZT transducers are used to generate and receive guided acoustic waves. The signal is propagated through the specimen in a single-sided transmission mode setup. The strain gage readings and the nonlinear ultrasonic parameter, the SPC-I values, are monitored simultaneously. The results obtained from the nonlinear ultrasonic NDT&E measurements are compared with the data obtained from the strain gages to determine the robustness and reliability of the SPC-I technique for monitoring welded joints. This investigation also shows the potential effectiveness of the nonlinear ultrasonic parameter SPC-I for early detection of weld failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalStructural Health Monitoring
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Structural health monitoring
  • damage monitoring
  • guided acoustic wave
  • hollow structural section
  • non-destructive testing and evaluation
  • nonlinear ultrasonic technique
  • pipe inspection
  • sideband peak count
  • steel castings
  • welded joints

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Early detection of steel tube welded joint failure using SPC-I nonlinear ultrasonic technique'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this