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Non-Destructive Evaluation of Material System Using Highly Nonlinear Acoustic Waves


Khatri, Devvrath (2012) Non-Destructive Evaluation of Material System Using Highly Nonlinear Acoustic Waves. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/P3VR-Q582.


A chain of granular particles is one of the most studied examples of highly nonlinear systems deriving its response from the nonlinear Hertzian contact interaction between particles. Interest in these systems derives from their tunable dynamic response, encompassing linear, weakly nonlinear, and strongly nonlinear regimes, controlled by varying the static and dynamic load applied. In chains with a very weak (or zero) static precompression, the system supports the formation and propagation of highly nonlinear solitary waves (HNSWs). The dual-nonlinear interaction between particles (i.e., a power-law type contact potential in compression, and zero strength in tension) combined with discreteness of the system, makes the granular system highly tunable. The propagation properties of these waves, such as traveling pulse width, wave speed, number of separated pulses (single or train of pulses), etc., can be controlled by modifying one or many of the parameters, like the particle's dimension, material properties, static and dynamic force amplitude, the type and duration of the initial excitation applied to the system, and/or the periodicity of the chain. The ability to control the wave properties in such chains has been proposed for several different practical engineering applications.

The dynamic properties of these granular chains have been conventionally studied using discrete particle models (DPMs) which consider the particles in the chains as point masses connected by nonlinear Hertzian springs with the neighboring particles. Although, this is a good approximation under proper circumstances, it does not capture many features of the three dimensional elastic particles such as the elastic wave propagation within the particles, the local deformation of the particles in the vicinity of the contact point, the corresponding changes in the contact area, and the collective vibrations of the particles among others. This thesis focuses on the development of a nite element model (FEM)using the commercially available software Abaqus, which takes into account many of these characteristic features. The nite element model discretizes particles by considering them as three-dimensional deformable bodies of revolution and describes the nonlinear dynamic response of one-dimensional granular chains composed of particles with various geometries and orientations. We showed that particles' geometries and orientations provide additional design parameters for controlling the dynamic response of the system, compared to chains composed of spherical particles. We also showed that the tunable and compact nature of these waves can be used to tailor the properties of HNSWs for specfic application, such as information carriers for actuation and sensing of mechanical properties and boundary effects of adjoining media in Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) and Structural Health Monitoring (SHM). Using experiments and numerics, we characterized interface dynamics between granular media and adjoining linear elastic media, and found that the coupling produced temporary localization of the incident waves at the boundaries between the two media and their decomposition into reflected waves. We monitored the formation of reflected solitary waves propagating back from the interface and found that their properties are sensitive to the geometric and material properties of the adjoining media. The work done in this research enhances our understanding of the basic physics and tunability of nonlinear granular media, and further establishes a theoretical and numerical foundation in the applications of HNSWs as information carriers.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:HNSW, nonlinear solitary wave, granular material, FEM, NDE, SHM, coupling, interaction
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Daraio, Chiara
Thesis Committee:
  • Ravichandran, Guruswami (chair)
  • Bhattacharya, Kaushik
  • Pellegrino, Sergio
  • Yang, Jinkyu
  • Daraio, Chiara
Defense Date:30 September 2011
Non-Caltech Author Email:devvrathk (AT)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSFGraduate Research Fellowship
W.M. Keck Institute for Space StudiesUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:05102012-091402754
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7022
Deposited By: Devvrath Khatri
Deposited On:14 May 2012 19:09
Last Modified:08 Nov 2023 00:21

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