Image Number 2 for United States Patent #7762136.
Disclosed are systems and methods that permit both real-time, and off-line, measurement of weld penetration depth. Exemplary systems and methods comprise an ultrasound source, such as a pulsed Nd:Yag laser, that simultaneously generates longitudinal and shear waves that radiate adjacent one side of a weld joining two specimens. An ultrasonic sensor, such as an electro-magnetic acoustic transducer or a piezo-electric transducer, capable of detecting shear and/or longitudinal waves, is disposed on an opposite side of the weld from the source. A signal processor is coupled to the sensor that processes time of flight signals for selected longitudinal or shear waves transmitted across the weld seam. The signal processor implements an algorithm that computes the weld penetration depth from the time of flight signals.