Deep learning based inversion of locally anisotropic weld properties from ultrasonic array data

Jonathan Singh, Katherine Margaret Mary Tant, Anthony Mulholland, Charles Norman MacLeod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
65 Downloads (Pure)


The ability to reliably detect and characterise defects embedded in austenitic steel welds depends on prior knowledge of microstructural descriptors, such as the orientations of the weld’s locally anisotropic grain structure. These orientations are usually unknown but it has been shown recently that they can be estimated from ultrasonic scattered wave data. However, conventional algorithms used for solving this inverse problem incur a significant computational cost. In this paper, we propose a framework which uses deep neural networks (DNNs) to reconstruct crystallographic orientations in a welded material from ultrasonic travel time data, in real-time. Acquiring the large amount of training data required for DNNs experimentally is practically infeasible for this problem, therefore a model based training approach is investigated instead, where a simple and efficient analytical method for modelling ultrasonic wave travel times through given weld geometries is implemented. The proposed method is validated by testing the trained networks on data arising from sophisticated finite element simulations of wave propagation through weld microstructures. The trained deep neural network predicts grain orientations to within 3° and in near real-time (0.04 s), presenting a significant step towards realising real-time, accurate characterisation of weld microstructures from ultrasonic non-destructive measurements. The subsequent improvement in defect imaging is then demonstrated via use of the DNN predicted crystallographic orientations to correct the delay laws on which the total focusing method imaging algorithm is based. An improvement of up to 5.3 dB in the signal-to-noise ratio is achieved.
Original languageEnglish
Article number532
Number of pages17
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2022


  • deep neural networks
  • welds
  • anisotropy
  • ultrasonic non-destructive evaluation
  • tomography
  • total focusing method


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