Long Range Ultrasonics (GUL)
The method employs acoustic waves that propagate along an elongated structure while guided by its boundaries. This allows the waves to travel a long distance with little loss in energy. Nowadays, GWT is widely used to inspect and screen many engineering structures, particularly for the inspection of metallic pipelines around the world. In some cases, hundreds of meters can be inspected from a single location. There are also some applications for inspecting rail tracks, rods and metal plate structures.
Although guided wave testing is also commonly known as guided wave ultrasonic testing (GWUT) or ultrasonic guided waves (UGWs) or long range ultrasonic testing (LRUT), it is fundamentally very different from conventional ultrasonic testing. The frequency used in the inspection depends on the thickness of the structure, but guided wave testing typically uses ultrasonic frequencies in the range of 10 kHz to several MHz. Higher frequencies can be used in some cases, but detection range is significantly reduced. In addition, the underlying physics of guided waves is more complex than bulk waves.