Development of a novel guided wave generation system using a giant magnetostrictive actuator for nondestructive evaluation

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As a common approach to nondestructive testing and evaluation, guided wave-based methods have attracted much attention because of their wide detection range and high detection efficiency. It is highly desirable to develop a portable guided wave testing system with high actuating energy and variable frequency. In this paper, a novel giant magnetostrictive actuator with high actuation power is designed and implemented, based on the giant magnetostrictive (GMS) effect. The novel GMS actuator design involves a conical energy-focusing head that can focus the amplified mechanical energy generated by the GMS actuator. This design enables the generation of stress waves with high energy, and the focusing of the generated stress waves on the test object. The guided wave generation system enables two kinds of output modes: the coded pulse signal and the sweep signal. The functionality and the advantages of the developed system are validated through laboratory testing in the quality assessment of rock bolt-reinforced structures. In addition, the developed GMS actuator and the supporting system are successfully implemented and applied in field tests. The device can also be used in other nondestructive testing and evaluation applications that require high-power stress wave generation.