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The Influence of Air Pressure on the Dynamics of Flexural Ultrasonic Transducers

Department of Physics, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(21), 4710; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19214710
Received: 4 September 2019 / Revised: 18 October 2019 / Accepted: 29 October 2019 / Published: 30 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
The flexural ultrasonic transducer comprises a piezoelectric ceramic disc bonded to a membrane. The vibrations of the piezoelectric ceramic disc induce flexural modes in the membrane, producing ultrasound waves. The transducer is principally utilized for proximity or flow measurement, designed for operation at atmospheric pressure conditions. However, there is rapidly growing industrial demand for the flexural ultrasonic transducer in applications including water metering or in petrochemical plants where the pressure levels of the gas or liquid environment can approach 100 bar. In this study, characterization methods including electrical impedance analysis and pitch-catch ultrasound measurement are employed to demonstrate the dynamic performance of flexural ultrasonic transducers in air at elevated pressures approaching 100 bar. Measurement principles are discussed, in addition to modifications to the transducer design for ensuring resilience at increasing air pressure levels. The results highlight the importance of controlling the parameters of the measurement environment and show that although the conventional design of flexural ultrasonic transducer can exhibit functionality towards 100 bar, its dynamic performance is unsuitable for accurate ultrasound measurement. It is anticipated that this research will initiate new developments in ultrasound measurement systems for fluid environments at elevated pressures. View Full-Text
Keywords: air-coupled ultrasound; elevated pressure; flexural ultrasonic transducer; pitch-catch ultrasound measurement; pressure measurement; unimorph transducer air-coupled ultrasound; elevated pressure; flexural ultrasonic transducer; pitch-catch ultrasound measurement; pressure measurement; unimorph transducer
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MDPI and ACS Style

Feeney, A.; Kang, L.; Somerset, W.E.; Dixon, S. The Influence of Air Pressure on the Dynamics of Flexural Ultrasonic Transducers. Sensors 2019, 19, 4710. https://doi.org/10.3390/s19214710

AMA Style

Feeney A, Kang L, Somerset WE, Dixon S. The Influence of Air Pressure on the Dynamics of Flexural Ultrasonic Transducers. Sensors. 2019; 19(21):4710. https://doi.org/10.3390/s19214710

Chicago/Turabian Style

Feeney, Andrew, Lei Kang, William E. Somerset, and Steve Dixon. 2019. "The Influence of Air Pressure on the Dynamics of Flexural Ultrasonic Transducers" Sensors 19, no. 21: 4710. https://doi.org/10.3390/s19214710

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