This article aims to develop a pressure sensing method by utilizing both a contacting active sensor and a non-contacting laser ultrasound transmitter. An overloaded stress in an industrial pressure tank such as a nuclear reactor may cause a catastrophic explosion; thus, it is essential to monitor the mechanical stress in a reliable manner for the structural safety. Among many different types of stress sensing methods, ultrasound sensing has been attractive due to its non-invasive measurement feature. For the recent decades, subsurface longitudinal (SSL) ultrasonic wave has been widely used since it is not only less dependent on the internal medium and the surface condition, but also has the fastest wave speed without wave distortion. In our work, laser source and Aluminum nitride (AlN) wafer are used to generate and to receive SSL ultrasonic waves, respectively. In order to increase the photoacoustic efficacy, a composite of carbon-soot nanoparticles (CSNP) and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) was attached onto the intermediate wedge at the transmitter side. The photoacoustic experiment results demonstrate a reasonable linear relationship between the stress level and the time-of-flight variation of the propagated wave signal.
The aim of this research study is to develop a flexible ultrasound transducer capable of determining the blood volume flow. Currently, there are a few different methods of measuring fluid flow inside a vessel using ultrasound. In Doppler shift and time transit flowmeters, a wedge has been used to mount a piezoelectric transducer in order to create a known angle between the direction of fluid flow and the direction of generated wave propagation. In general, the flat nature of piezoelectric transducers has restricted the application of this method to mounting surfaces with known geometry. However, in a recent study, a flexible piezo-composite ultrasonic transducer was developed using PZT-5H and a passive polymer matrix (PDMS). Due to the flexibility of this unique transducer, it can be mounted on surfaces of unknown and varying geometry. In the context of measuring the blood flow rate in a human vessel, the transducer can be integrated into a wearable device capable of determining the orientation and position of the vessel’s path using wave time of flight. In this article, we measured a flow speed using the flexible transducer embedded on a curved surface of a tissue-mimicking material, in which water flows through an artificial flow vessel aligned in a known angular direction. Then, the velocity of the flowing medium in the vessel is estimated by using the Doppler shift method. The experimental results will provide the fundamental background for application of the flexible transducer to the wearable device capable of measuring the blood flow and the pressure.
A matching pursuit (MP) algorithm is effective tool to decompose the overlapped wave packets in a signal so that each wave mode can be identified. For the successful separations of the wave packets, an atom function should be properly designed, that can well resemble the physical features of the signal of interest. In this paper, a novel atom function for the MP algorithm is proposed based on the wave propagating model due to an excitation of a Hann-windowed toneburst signal, which performs very accurately compared to the MP algorithm with the existing Gaussian-type atom functions. The decomposed wave packets, including the directly scattered wave from damage as well as the reverberant waves from the free edges of the plate, via the MP method are employed in the damage imaging algorithm, highlighting the damaged location with higher intensity than the conventional algorithm utilizing only a direct reflected wave. The proposed approach is verified from the experiment where four piezoelectric wafers can accurately identify the damage location in a plate.