Quantitative ultrasonic techniques for determining the serviceability of structural components are reviewed. Particular emphasis is placed on the use of forward and inverse elastic wave scattering theory as a fundamental foundation for predicting such engineering parameters as the probability of flaw detection and for developing improved techniques for flaw sizing. Ultrasonic measurement techniques for the determination of distributed failure-related properties such as residual stresses are discussed, and the status of the prediction of failure by the detection of acoustic emission precursors is reviewed.

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