1 August 2003 Polymer subtrates for dry-coupled ultrasonic transducers
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Dry-coupled inspection techniques are very important for applications on components with non-uniform surfaces and for inspections of advanced materials or coatings that are porous or otherwise sensitive to the application of water, gel, or some other ultrasonic couplants. To overcome the problems associated with the liquid coupling medium, a number of polymer films have been developed to transmit the ultrasound through a dry interface. These materials are very flexible so even low pressure loading is sufficient to adapt the films to the irregular inspection surfaces. Several polymer films have been evaluated to develop dry-coupled substrates for transducer modules. The modules will be utilized to detect and characterize fatigue cracks and corrosion spots in the aircraft structures. Ultrasonic properties of the polymer films were measured and compared with the properties of plastic or rubber-like materials commonly used for ultrasonic applications. Experiments have been carried out to analyze propagation of longitudinal and shear waves in the films. Two different types of the ultrasonic modules with the flexible polymer substrates are being developed. The influence of the surface condition on the module performance was evaluated for both types of the modules.
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Igor N. Komsky, "Polymer subtrates for dry-coupled ultrasonic transducers", Proc. SPIE 5047, Smart Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems II, (1 August 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.484006; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.484006

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