Date of Submission


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical and Industrial Engineering


Eric Dieckman

Committee Member

Maria-Isabel Carnasciali

Committee Member

Ravi Gorthala


Ultrasonic testing--Equipment and supplies, Railroads--Design and construction


Over several decades, railroad Ultrasonic Testing (UT) industry techniques have primarily been developed through simple analytical modelling and experimental approaches. However, with present-day computational capabilities, we can use numerical techniques like the Elastodynamic Finite Integration Technique (EFIT) to fine-tune systems for complex applications before the fabrication process begins. EFIT is well-established as a useful method in numerical analysis of ultrasonic wave propagation with distinct advantages over the Finite Difference Time Domain method. Several software packages exist that use EFIT as the primary method for simulating the behavior of ultrasonic waves over time in 2 or 3 dimensions, but none of them are well-suited for railroad UT research and development. This thesis explores the complete development of a custom tool for this purpose which was designed to: (1) allow for the input of various profile geometries, boundary conditions, and material inclusion geometries (such as a bolt hole in a railroad track); and (2) allow for the input of specific ultrasonic impulses from varying emitter designs. The custom software produced results that closely matched expected wave propagation behavior. The results were processed into useful visual representations of that behavior.