Ultrasonic Based Nondestructive Evaluation Methods for Wood: A Primer and Historical Review


With the recent compilation of 50 years of the NDT International Nondestructive Testing and Evaluation of Wood Symposium Series, the recently published Ultrasonic Based Nondestructive Evaluation Methods for Wood: A Primer and Historical Review examines how the nondestructive testing of wood in all of its forms has changed over the last half century. Authors C. Adam Senalik, Greg Schueneman, and Robert Ross provide a basic primer to nondestructive testing using ultrasonic inspection and provide a comprehensive literature review of the use of ultrasonic techniques in the inspection, characterization, classification, and evaluation of wood and wood products as presented in 50 years of the NDT Wood Symposium series.

Ultrasonic inspection of wood has evolved over a half a century of research and development. In addition to the literature review on ultrasound in wood inspection, this report describes basic ultrasonic inspection techniques and analyses. It contains a list of over one hundred species of wood that have been inspected using ultrasound.

Strength grading, determination of elastic constants, and evaluation of moisture content effects are a few of the fields to which ultrasonic inspection have been successfully applied. The most widespread application of ultrasonic inspection with wood is arguably defect detection. There is an ongoing need to detect and assess defects within standing trees, poles, lumber, structures, and engineered wood products. Increased sensitivity and more accurate approximations of remaining wood strength aid inspectors in evaluating the utility and safety of wood structures. Wood is already the most common building material in the world, but with the increased reliability that comes with advanced ultrasonic inspection techniques, its use can only grow.