Ultrasound can be used to Detect Defects in Large Structures: IIT Madras Research

According to a study commissioned by the team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, engineering structures including buildings, pipelines and rails can be treated with ultrasound in order to detect any kind of defect in the structure. IIT-M joined hands with the University of Nairobi in order to conduct this study.


The large structures are susceptible to corrosion, impact and strain over the period of time and high-frequency sound waves travelling in the bulk are mainly used for non-invasive and non-destructive testing of structural materials. Conventional methods of inspection are time-consuming and involve a lot of assessment of structures.

In the current method developed using mathematical models, sound waves are sent along the length of the structure rather than into the structure so that the waves can travel longer distances and function more effectively. Since Guided Wave Testing has very poor resolution and that is why; meta-materials have been used by the researchers during this study to improve the overall resolution.


These are artificially crafted materials with unique internal micro-structures that give them unique properties. These materials are not usually found in nature. The constituent items of these materials can be tailored in shape, size and inter-atomic interaction to exhibit unusual properties.

This method is expected to ensure that disaster resilient architecture will be the norm in the future and also catastrophe losses can be minimized using this new method.




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