Definition - What does Wedge mean?

Wedges are an important component of the probes used in phased array technology. Phased array probe assemblies usually also include a plastic wedge. Wedges are used in both shear wave and longitudinal wave applications, including straight beam linear scans. These wedges perform basically the same function in phased array systems as in conventional single element flaw detection, coupling sound energy from the transducer to the test piece in such a way that its mode converts and refracts at a desired angle in accordance with Snell's Law.

While phased array systems do utilize beam steering to create beams at multiple angles from a single wedge, this refraction effect is also part of the beam generation process. Shear wave wedges look very similar to those used with conventional transducers, and like conventional wedges they come in many sizes and styles. Some of them incorporate couplant feed holes for scanning applications.

Corrosionpedia explains Wedge

Wedges can be custom contoured to accommodate complex part geometries. In addition to incident angles, there are several wedge dimensions that are used in programming phased array scans to ensure proper distance and depth calibration and the proper refracted angle.

Zero degree wedges are basically flat plastic blocks used for coupling sound energy, for protecting the transducer face from scratches or abrasion in straight linear scans and also for low angle longitudinal wave angled scans.

Some key points of wedges:

  • They are available in the refracted angles of 0°, 45°, 55° and 60° in steel.
  • Lateral electronic scanning replaces the hand-skewing movement (with lateral wedges).
  • The user can design and manufacture the wedges at desired refracted angles.
  • Wedges are designed to perform manual or automated scans.

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