DEVELOPMENT OF A USER INTERFACE IN MATLAB TO ASSIST PRECISION ULTRASONIC THICKNESS MAPPING

Open Access
Author:
Woolridge, Jillian J
Area of Honors:
Engineering Science
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Kevin Koudela, Thesis Supervisor
  • Kevin L Koudela, Thesis Supervisor
  • Christine Masters, Honors Advisor
  • Judith A Todd, Faculty Reader
Keywords:
  • Matlab
  • graphical user interface
  • ultrasonic thickness mapping
Abstract:
Development of graphical user interfaces for very specific applications is more and more common as engineering becomes more diverse. Specifically, material development and processing is an ever-expanding field as new materials are created or explored for various applications. Composite materials are high up on the list of those being explored, and many old products are now being made out of composite materials due to their strength to weight ratio. For some applications of composite materials, the thickness needs to be very tightly controlled across large areas. To ensure that the components are within tolerances, measurements can be taken conveniently with ultrasonic inspection. However, interpretation of these data require better methods than manual evaluation of the time-of-flight signals recorded by the transducer set up. Inspecting so many points over the area of a component by hand reduces throughput and decreases efficiency in the production of the components. The acquisition of data is significantly less time-consuming than data interpretation. Therefore, a method of quickly yet accurately reducing the data to determine thickness tolerance deviations in the part must be developed. This, in part, requires good signal processing to ensure accurate translation from a voltage measurement to a time measurement to a thickness measurement. The other part requires the development of a user interface that facilitates convenient and quick viewing of the thickness data. While signal processing requires only a programmer, a successful interface needs both the input of a programmer and end-user to determine the attributes that make a program successful. The research described in this paper explores the development of a graphical user interface in the MATLAB programming language that meets the needs of the user engineers while providing a convenient and practical way to view thickness variation along the surface of advanced composite material components.