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Applied Acoustics 71 (2010) 739742

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Applied Acoustics
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/apacoust

Real time NDE of laser shock processing with time-of-ight of laser induced
plasma shock wave in air by acoustic emission sensor
Fei Wang *, Yongkang Zhang, Hongbing Yao, Bei Yuan
School of Mechanical Engineering, Jiangsu University, No. 301, Xuefu Road, Zhenjiang 212013, China

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:
Received 16 July 2009
Received in revised form 26 January 2010
Accepted 24 March 2010
Available online 14 April 2010
Keywords:
NDE
Laser induced plasma shock wave
Time-of-ight
Acoustic emission sensor
Laser shock processing

a b s t r a c t
Acoustic emission sensor is used to research the time-of-ight of the shock wave induced by laser-plasma
in air for real time nondestructive evaluation (NDE) of laser shock processing. The time-of-ight of the
shock wave propagating from the source to the sensor declines nonlinearly and similarly at the different
distances for different laser energies. The velocity of the shock wave at the distance of 30 mm increases
faster than that of the distance of 35 mm. The relationship between the laser energy and the distance is
almost linearly when the signal with distortion is measured by acoustic emission sensor. Finally, Taylor
solution is used to analyze the experimental results, and the empirical formula between the energy of the
shock wave and the laser energy is established, which will provide a theoretical basis for real time NDE of
laser shock processing.
2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction
Shock wave induced by laser-plasma [1] or others [2] is applied
in the elds of laser shock processing, doping of CdTe crystals [3],
quenching formation of ZrTiCuNiBe [4], desorption of electrons and
ions [5] and laser cleaning [6]. For the application of laser shock
processing, the deeply compressive residual stress is the most
important role played by the shock wave, which can be explained
by the photomechanics of the shock wave [1] and can increase the
service life of a processed part with respect to cyclic fatigue failure.
Currently, one of the key problems is how to real time NDE of laser
shock processing, which general electric company has researched
since 1999 [7]. The general methods used by research units for
quality assurance of laser shock processing are the technologies
of pressure gauges and X-ray diffraction, and the disadvantages
of these methods are the result inuenced by the material and
thickness of the target for the pressure gauges and limited test
materials for X-ray diffraction. The methods proposed by general
electric company are determination of Rayleigh wave critical angle
[7], natural frequency analysis [8], temporal light spectrum analysis [9] and time-of-ight of the laser induced plasma shock wave
[10].
The patent of time-of-ight [10] belongs to the scope of widely
used acoustic NDE [11,12] and has overcome the disadvantages of
the methods used by research units. However, the patent does not
give the way to record the time indicative of the laser ring laser
* Corresponding author.
E-mail address: aurrayu@163.com (F. Wang).
0003-682X/$ - see front matter 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.apacoust.2010.03.005

beam, and the combination of the beam splitter and the photodiode is employed to do the job in this paper. Also, the sensor used
in the patent is airborne, which is sensitive to the interference of
the surrounding environment for its resonant frequency of
20 kHz, and it is replaced by PXR15 acoustic emission sensor with
resonant frequency of 150 kHz. A lot of experimental methods
have been developed to detect the time-of-ight of the shock wave
in air [1315], which are not suitable in the operate condition of
laser shock processing for the shock wave caused by interaction
of the workpiece, the absorption layer, the containment layer and
the laser beam.
Containment layer is removed to fundamentally understand the
time-of-ight of the shock wave in air with acoustic emission sensor, and Al foil (absorption layer in the technology of laser shock
processing) is used as the target. The experimental results are analyzed by reference to Taylor solution, and the empirical formula
between the energy of the shock wave and the laser energy is proposed in this paper, which will provide a theoretical basis for real
time NDE of laser shock processing.

2. Experimental details
2.1. The experimental components and the detection steps
Experiment (Fig. 1) has been performed with Nd:YAG laser of
Beamtech operating at a 1.064 lm wavelength. The laser delivers
Gaussian pulses of nearly 10 ns full width at half-maximum, and
its output energy is 501000 mJ with a spot diameter of 1 mm.

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F. Wang et al. / Applied Acoustics 71 (2010) 739742

serves as a trigger in the oscilloscope, which shows the time indicative of the laser ring laser beam.
The sensor employed in the patent is airborne sensor, and it is
sensitive to ambient process and air currents for its lower frequency nature, the result of which PXR15 sensor with resonant frequency of 150 kHz is proposed to conquer this shortcoming in this
paper.
3. Results and discussion
Fig. 1. The experiment setup for the detection of the time-of-ight of the shock
wave induced by laser-plasma in air. (1: Laser, 2: laser beam, 3: beam splitter, 4:
lens, 5: Al foil target, 6: oscilloscope, 7: photodiode, 8: acoustic emission sensor.)

The sensor employed in the experiment is PXR15 acoustic emission


sensor with resonant frequency of 150 kHz, which is commercial
available from PengXiang Technology (Beijing), and the target is
Al foil, which is used as absorption layer in the technology of laser
shock processing.
The energy of the laser beam is changed form 501000 mJ
(50 mJ/div) for different distances (D = 20 mm, D = 25 mm,
D = 30 mm, D = 35 mm, between the source of the shock wave
and the sensor). Here the selected distance D = 30 cm is due to
the patent of time-of-ight [10], and the other distances
(D = 20 mm, D = 25 mm, D = 35 mm) are also selected for the further research to seek out the applicable scope of this method.
The time-of-ight of the shock wave propagating from the source
to the sensor is presented from the oscilloscope in the experiment.
For each test, the Al foil is moved to prevent the laser-irradiated
target point form being eroded by the laser.
2.2. The modications of the method from the patent of time-of-ight
The method described in the patent does not give the way to record the time indicative of the laser delivering laser beam, and this
paper gives a precise way used in the scope of the detection. The
beam splitter is applied to split part of the laser beam to the photodiode (Fig. 1), and the rising electrical signal from the photodiode

3.1. The analysis of the signal source and the selection of the time point
of the signal
The signal (Fig. 2) recorded by the PXR15 sensor is the result of
both the shock wave and the sound wave, but the change of the
signal when the energy of the laser beam increases from 50 mJ to
1000 mJ is caused by the shock wave for the constant speed of
the sound wave in one medium, and the signal is delayed when
a piece of paper is put between the source of the shock wave and
the sensor, which is the result of the sound wave.
The rst time point of the signal form the photodiode is selected
at the site of rst vertical line in Fig. 2, and the second time point of
the signal collected by PXR15 sensor is selected at the rst bend
site of the signal (Fig. 2), not the rst peak of the signal for different
times between the rst bend site of the signal and the rst peak of
the signal for different energies of the laser beam, and it is hard to
nd the rst peak of the signal when the energy of the laser beam
is low.
3.2. The applicable scope of the method
When D = 20 mm and the laser energy exceeds 400 mJ the signal is abnormal (Fig. 3), which is the slightly rise of the signal from
the sensor at the rising time of the signal from the photodiode, and
in this case the signal collected by the sensor is poorly consistency
at the same laser energy.
This phenomenon appears because the strength of the shock
wave at this experimental parameter exceeding the detection
scope of the sensor, which also explains the predetermined

Fig. 2. The signal collected by the oscilloscope at D = 30 mm and 400 mJ of the laser energy.

F. Wang et al. / Applied Acoustics 71 (2010) 739742

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Fig. 3. The signal collected by the oscilloscope at D = 20 mm and 450 mJ of the laser energy.

length of 3050 mm for airborne sensor in the patent [10]. The


relationship between the laser energy and the distance is almost
linearly when the signal with distortion is measured by acoustic
emission sensor, as shown in Fig. 4, and in the later analysis, the
data derived at the distances of 20 mm and 25 mm are removed,
for the effective laser energy ranges at the two distances are too
narrow.
3.3. The detection results and the theoretical analysis
The time-of-ight of the shock wave (Fig. 5) propagating from
the source to the sensor at D = 30 mm and D = 35 mm declines
nonlinearly and similarly as the laser energy increases from
50 mJ to 850 mJ, but for the velocity of the shock wave (Fig. 6),
the declining slope of which at D = 30 mm is smaller than
D = 35 mm. It illustrates the inuence of the laser energy in the
evolution of the laser induced plasma shock wave in air, which is
the attenuation of the shock wave increasing faster as the laser energy rises.

Fig. 5. The time-of-ight of the shock wave propagating from the source to the
sensor in air at different laser energies and different distances (D = 30 mm,
D = 35 mm) by acoustic emission sensor.

The time-of-ight of the laser induced plasma shock wave in air


is constant for the specic parameter of laser shock processing,
such as the same laser energy, for which the time-of-ight can
be used to real time NDE of laser shock processing.
The available theory of the shock wave induced by laser-plasma
in air is Taylor [16] solution:

 1=5
E
R k
t 2=5

Fig. 4. The relationship between the laser energy and the distance when the signal
with distortion is measured by acoustic emission sensor.

where R is the radius of the shock wave front, E is the energy of the
shock wave, q is the density of the ambient gas, t is the time of the
shock wave propagating to the radius of R, k is the integral constant
of the explosion, which is close to 1.
In this experiment R is 30 mm and 35 mm, respectively, q is
1.29 kg/m3 and t is the time-of-ight of the shock wave. According
to the derived data, the calculated E is greater than the laser energy

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F. Wang et al. / Applied Acoustics 71 (2010) 739742

4. Conclusions
The time-of-ight of the laser induced plasma shock wave declines nonlinearly as the laser energy increases from 50 mJ to
850 mJ, and the attenuation of the shock wave increases faster
when the energy of the laser beam rises. The relationship between
the laser energy and the distance is almost linearly when the signal
with distortion is measured by acoustic emission sensor.
The integral constant k is amended as 103 with the combination of Taylor solution and the experimental results, and the
empirical formula between the energy of the shock wave and
the laser energy is established by the cubic equation tting,
which will provide a theoretical basis for real time NDE of laser
shock processing.
Acknowledgement

Fig. 6. The calculated velocity of the shock wave propagating from the source of the
shock wave to the sensor in air at different laser energies and different distances
(D = 30 mm, D = 35 mm).

The nancial support of this research by the National Natural


Science Foundation of China (Nos. 50735001, 50705038,
50675089 and 10804037) are gratefully acknowledged.
References

Fig. 7. The relationship between the energy of the shock wave and the laser energy.

E0, which is contradict with the conservation of mass and momentum, and the integral constant k is amended as 103.
The relationship between the energy of the shock wave E and
the laser energy E0 is yielded in Fig. 7, and it is applicable for any
distances. After the cubic equation tting to Fig. 7, the empirical
formula of E and E0 is established as

y 5:88921 0:01545x  0:00002x2 9:8651  109 x3

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