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The existence of acoustic waves with displacements localized at the tip of an isotropic elastic wedge was rigorously proven by Kamotskii, Zavorokhin and Nazarov. This proof, which is based on a variational approach, is extended to rectangular anisotropic wedges. For two high-symmetry configurations of rectangular edges in elastic media with tetragonal symmetry, a criterion is derived that allows identifying the boundary between the regions of existence for wedge modes of even and odd symmetry in regions of parameter space, where even- and odd-symmetry modes do not exist simultaneously. Furthermore, rectangular edges with non-equivalent surfaces are analyzed, and it is shown that at rectangular edges of cubic elastic media with one (110) surface and one (001) surface, a tip-localized guided wave always exists, apart from special cases that are characterized.

Laser pulses focused near the tip of an elastic wedge generate acoustic waves guided at its apex. The shapes of the acoustic wedge wave pulses depend on the energy and the profile of the exciting laser pulse and on the anisotropy of the elastic medium the wedge is made of. Expressions for the acoustic pulse shapes have been derived in terms of the modal displacement fields of wedge waves for laser excitation in the thermo-elastic regime and for excitation via a pressure pulse exerted on the surface. The physical quantity considered is the local inclination of a surface of the wedge, which is measured optically by laser-probe-beam deflection. Experimental results on pulse shapes in the thermo-elastic regime are presented and confirmed by numerical calculations. They pertain to an isotropic sharp-angle wedge with two wedge-wave branches and to a non-reciprocity phenomenon at rectangular silicon edges.

Among the various types of guided acoustic waves, acoustic wedge waves are non-diffractive and non-dispersive. Both properties make them susceptible to nonlinear effects. Investigations have recently been focused on effects of second-order nonlinearity in connection with anisotropy. The current status of these investigations is reviewed in the context of earlier work on nonlinear properties of two-dimensional guided acoustic waves, in particular surface waves. The role of weak dispersion, leading to solitary waves, is also discussed. For anti-symmetric flexural wedge waves propagating in isotropic media or in anisotropic media with reflection symmetry with respect to the wedge’s mid-plane, an evolution equation is derived that accounts for an effective third-order nonlinearity of acoustic wedge waves. For the kernel functions occurring in the nonlinear terms of this equation, expressions in terms of overlap integrals with Laguerre functions are provided, which allow for their quantitative numerical evaluation. First numerical results for the efficiency of third-harmonic generation of flexural wedge waves are presented.

Micro-cracks give rise to non-analytic behavior of the stress-strain relation. For the case of a homogeneous spatial distribution of aligned flat micro-cracks, the influence of this property of the stress-strain relation on harmonic generation is analyzed for Rayleigh waves and for acoustic wedge waves with the help of a simple micromechanical model adopted from the literature. For the efficiencies of harmonic generation of these guided waves, explicit expressions are derived in terms of the corresponding linear wave fields. The initial growth rates of the second harmonic, i.e., the acoustic nonlinearity parameter, has been evaluated numerically for steel as matrix material. The growth rate of the second harmonic of Rayleigh waves has also been determined for microcrack distributions with random orientation, using a model expression for the strain energy in terms of strain invariants known in a geophysical context.

In numerical calculations, guided acoustic waves, localized in two spatial dimensions, have been shown to exist and their properties have been investigated in three different geometries, (i) a half-space consisting of two elastic media with a planar interface inclined to the common surface, (ii) a wedge made of two elastic media with a planar interface, and (iii) the free edge of an elastic layer between two quarter-spaces or two wedge-shaped pieces of a material with elastic properties and density differing from those of the intermediate layer.
For the special case of Poisson media forming systems (i) and (ii), the existence ranges of these 1D guided waves in parameter space have been determined and found to strongly depend on the inclination angle between surface and interface in case (i) and the wedge angle in case (ii). In a system of type (ii) made of two materials with strong acoustic mismatch and in systems of type (iii), leaky waves have been found with a high degree of spatial localization of the associated displacements, although the two materials constituting these structures are isotropic.
Both the fully guided and the leaky waves analyzed in this work could find applications in non-destructive evaluation of composite structures and should be accounted for in geophysical prospecting, for example.
A critical comparison is presented of the two computational approaches employed, namely a semi-analytical finite element scheme and a method based on an expansion of the displacement field in a double series of special functions.