Several groups have reported an enhancement of the ultrasonic Rayleigh wave when scanning close to a surface-breaking defect in a metal sample. This enhancement may be explained as an interference effect where the waves passing directly between source and receiver interfere with those waves reflected back from the defect. We present finite element models of the predicted enhancement when approaching a defect, along with experiments performed using electromagnetic acoustic transducers sensitive to either in-plane or out-of-plane motion. A larger enhancement of the in-plane motion than the out-of-plane motion is observed and can be explained by considering ultrasonic reflections and mode conversion at the defect
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