Index based triangulation method for efficient generation of large three-dimensional ultrasonic C-scans

Carmelo Mineo, Jonathan Riise, Rahul Summan, Charles N. MacLeod, S. Gareth Pierce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
70 Downloads (Pure)


The demand for high speed ultrasonic scanning of large and complex components is driven by a desire to reduce production bottlenecks during the non-destructive evaluation of critical parts. Emerging systems (including robotic inspection) allow the collection of large data volumes in short time spans, compared to existing inspection systems. To maximize throughput, it is crucial that the reconstructed inspection data sets are generated and evaluated rapidly without a loss of detail. This requires new data visualization and analysis tools capable of mapping complex geometries whilst guaranteeing full part coverage. This paper presents an entirely new approach for the visualization of three-dimensional ultrasonic C-scans, suitable for application to high data throughput ultrasonic phased array inspection of large and complex parts. Existing reconstruction approaches are discussed and compared with the new Index Based Triangulation (IBT) method presented. The IBT method produces 3D C-scan representation, presented as coloured tessellated surfaces, and the approach is shown to work efficiently even on challenging geometry. An additional differentiating characteristic of the IBT method is that it allows easy detection of lack of coverage (an essential feature to ensure that inspection coverage can be guaranteed on critical components). Results demonstrate that the IBT C-scan generation approach runs over 60 times faster than a C-scan display based on Delaunay triangulation and over 500 times faster than surface reconstruction C-scans.

In summary the main benefits of the new IBT technique are:

• High speed generation of C-scans on large ultrasonic data sets (orders of magnitude improvement over surface reconstruction C-Scans)
• Ability to operate efficiently on 3D mapped data sets (allowing 3D interpretation of C scans on complex geometry components)
• Intrinsic indication of lack of inspection coverage
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalInsight: The Journal of the British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing
Early online date1 Apr 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Apr 2018


  • data visualisation
  • c-scan
  • robotic inspection
  • phased array
  • complex geometries


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