Abstract

The Letter presents a new design of Sagnac interferometer-based optical system (SIOS) that emits a line-arrayed pattern generating narrowband high-energy waves in a specimen. The SIOS is further used to excite Rayleigh waves in a pristine rail specimen to evaluate its intrinsic nonlinearity resulting from the lattice anharmonicity and dissolved impurities. Such a nonlinearity appears in the response in the form of a second harmonic that is sensed in this Letter using a scanning laser Doppler vibrometer. In addition to this noncontact measurement, a contact measurement of the nonlinearity of rail steel using wedge transducers is also carried out to compare the performance of the SIOS. Both experimentally evaluated nonlinearities are compared with those obtained using the nonlinear elasticity equations. The close agreement with the theoretically estimated nonlinearity and higher repeatability shows that the SIOS is effective in measuring the intrinsic nonlinearity of the rail steel and, thereby, predicting the health status of the rail specimens before fixing them on the track.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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