The determination of depth profile of vertical fatigue cracks generated in thick cruciform samples using an ultrasonic phased array is investigated in this paper. The cracks were formed by conducting fatigue fracture test on two mild steel cruciform specimens of 135 mm thickness: one under room temperature and the other under subzero temperature (70°C). A semi-elliptical surface starter notch of 2 mm width and more than 400 mm length was initially created in the specimens. Alternating current potential drop technique and phased array ultrasonic technique were attempted in order to determine the depth profiles of the starter notch as well as that of the crack. Virtual experiments carried out with a finite-difference time domain based numerical model were found to be advantageous in reducing actual experimental trials, facilitate an understanding of the echo signatures, and help assess the crack depth. The profiles of the crack and the notch were verified through destructive assay of the samples and subsequent dye penetrant assisted physical measurements.

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