In this work, an ultrasonic guided wave inspection technique was evaluated to detect and locate defects in pipes using SH (Horizontally polarized Shear) plate waves. Electromagnetic Acoustic Transducers (EMATs) were designed and constructed for bi-mode SH waves applications. These probes were used to generate a single mode at a time. Advantages of SH waves, guided by the wall surfaces for circumferential propagation and full volume inspection, are demonstrated in the pulse-echo setup. Mode selection criteria were investigated to tune the SH waves to the geometry of the inspection specimen Examples of mode selection based on the interaction characteristics of SH wave modes with a defect are described. An application of multi-mode inspection for geometrical parameter evaluation (length, depth and orientation) of individual cracks was also demonstrated. The experimental work was performed on cylindrical steel pipe samples having several types of defects ranging from through wall cracks to shallow cracks (10% of wall thickness) both in the circumferential and longitudinal directions. Results from laboratory investigation of the influence of defect depth and orientation on reflectivity of various modes of SH waves are reported. Multi-mode SH-wave inspection is shown to be capable of detecting shallow discontinuities (microcracks) and of locating defects accurately. Inspection results on a pipe section are represented as 3-D images with B-Scan projections and their interpretation is discussed.

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