Impact-acoustics inspection of tile-wall bonding integrity via wavelet transform and hidden Markov models

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1954-1967
Journal / PublicationJournal of Sound and Vibration
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2010


The impact-acoustics method utilizes different information contained in the acoustic signals generated by tapping a structure with a small metal object. It offers a convenient and cost-efficient way to inspect the tile-wall bonding integrity. However, the existence of the surface irregularities will cause abnormal multiple bounces in the practical inspection implementations. The spectral characteristics from those bounces can easily be confused with the signals obtained from different bonding qualities. As a result, it will deteriorate the classic feature-based classification methods based on frequency domain. Another crucial difficulty posed by the implementation is the additive noise existing in the practical environments that may also cause feature mismatch and false judgment. In order to solve this problem, the work described in this paper aims to develop a robust inspection method that applies model-based strategy, and utilizes the wavelet domain features with hidden Markov modeling. It derives a bonding integrity recognition approach with enhanced immunity to surface roughness as well as the environmental noise. With the help of the specially designed artificial sample slabs, experiments have been carried out with impact acoustic signals contaminated by real environmental noises acquired under practical inspection background. The results are compared with those using classic method to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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