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Sensors 2017, 17(1), 95; doi:10.3390/s17010095

Air-Coupled Low Frequency Ultrasonic Transducers and Arrays with PMN-32%PT Piezoelectric Crystals

Ultrasound Institute, Kaunas University of Technology, Kaunas LT-51423, Lithuania
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Academic Editor: Vittorio M. N. Passaro
Received: 20 October 2016 / Accepted: 3 January 2017 / Published: 6 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors)

Abstract

Air-coupled ultrasonic techniques are being increasingly used for material characterization, non-destructive evaluation of composite materials using guided waves as well as for distance measurements. Application of those techniques is mainly limited by the big losses of ultrasonic signals due to attenuation and mismatch of the acoustic impedances of ultrasonic transducers and air. One of the ways to solve this problem is by application of novel more efficient piezoelectric materials like lead magnesium niobate-lead titanate (PMN-PT) type crystals. The objective of this research was the development and investigation of low frequency (<50 kHz) wide band air-coupled ultrasonic transducers and arrays with an improved performance using PMN-32%PT crystals. Results of finite element modelling and experimental investigations of the developed transducers and arrays are presented. For improvement of the performance strip-like matching elements made of low acoustic impedance, materials such as polystyrene foams were applied. It allowed to achieve transduction losses for one single element transducer −11.4 dB, what is better than of commercially available air-coupled ultrasonic transducers. Theoretical and experimental investigations of the acoustic fields radiated by the eight element ultrasonic array demonstrated not only a good performance of the array in a pulse mode, but also very good possibilities to electronically focus and steer the ultrasonic beam in space. View Full-Text
Keywords: ultrasonic transducer; air coupled; PMN-32%PT crystals; ultrasonic array ultrasonic transducer; air coupled; PMN-32%PT crystals; ultrasonic array
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kazys, R.J.; Sliteris, R.; Sestoke, J. Air-Coupled Low Frequency Ultrasonic Transducers and Arrays with PMN-32%PT Piezoelectric Crystals. Sensors 2017, 17, 95.

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