The well known zero in the group velocity of the first-order symmetric (S1) plate wave mode has been exploited in air-coupled ultrasonic imaging to obtain significantly higher sensitivity than can be achieved in conventional air-coupled scanning. At the zero group velocity point at the frequency minimum of the S1mode, a broad range of wavenumbers couple into the first-order symmetric mode at nearly a constant frequency, greatly enhancing transmission at that frequency. Coupled energy remains localized near the coupling point because the group velocity is zero. We excite the mode with a broadband, focussing, air-coupled transducer at the frequency of the zero group velocity point in the S1 mode. By exploiting the efficient coupling at the zero group velocity frequency, we have easily imaged a single layer of Scotch tape attached to a 6.4-mm thick Plexiglas plate and 3.2-mm Teflon inserts in a composite laminate.
Holland, Stephen D. and Chimenti, Dale E., "High contrast air-coupled acoustic imaging with zero group velocity Lamb modes" (2003). Aerospace Engineering Conference Papers, Presentations and Posters. 1.