Material hardness and ageing measurement using guided ultrasonic waves

Nilesh Korde, Tribikram Kundu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Elastic properties of materials can be easily determined from the ultrasonic wave velocity measurement. However, material hardness cannot be obtained from the ultrasonic wave speed. Heat treatment and ageing affect the microstructure of many materials changing their hardness and strength. It has been already established that ultrasonic attenuation and dispersion are also affected by the material microstructure. It is investigated in this paper if the attenuation of ultrasonic guided waves can be correlated with the material ageing or duration of heat treatment and material hardness. To this aim six identical aluminum 2024 alloy plate specimens were subjected to different durations of heat treatment at 150 °C and were inspected nondestructively propagating Lamb waves through the specimens. Attenuation of the Lamb wave was found to be inversely related to the hardness. Rockwell hardness test was performed to corroborate the ultrasonic observations. In comparison to the Rockwell hardness test the ultrasonic inspection was found to be more sensitive to the heat treatment duration and material ageing. From these results it is concluded that guided wave inspection method is a reliable and probably more desirable alternative for characterizing the hardness and microstructure of heat treated materials. Earlier investigations correlated the bulk wave attenuation with the material ageing while this work is the first attempt to correlate the guided wave attenuation to the material hardness and ageing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)506-510
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • Heat treatment
  • Lamb wave
  • Material hardness
  • Rockwell hardness
  • Wave attenuation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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