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Open AccessArticle

Scanning Acoustic Microscopy (SAM): A Robust Method for Defect Detection during the Manufacturing Process of Ultrasound Probes for Medical Imaging

1
R&D Global Transducer Technology, Esaote spa, Via di Caciolle, 15, 50127 Firenze, Italy
2
PVA TePla Analytical Systems GmbH, 73463 Westhausen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(22), 4868; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19224868
Received: 8 October 2019 / Revised: 30 October 2019 / Accepted: 4 November 2019 / Published: 8 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors Based NDE and NDT)
The main aim of this paper is to provide the feasibility of non-destructive testing (NDT) method, such as scanning acoustic microscopy (SAM), for damage detection in ultrasound (US) probes for medical imaging during the manufacturing process. In a highly competitive and demanding electronics and biomedical market, reliable non-destructive methods for quality control and failure analysis of electronic components within multi-layered structures are strongly required. Any robust non-destructive method should be capable of dealing with the complexity of miniaturized assemblies, such as the acoustic stack of ultrasonic transducers. In this work, the application of SAM in an industrial scenario was studied for 24 samples of a phased array probe, in order to investigate potential internal integrity, to detect damages, and to assess the compliance of high-demanding quality requirements. Delamination, non-homogeneous layers with micron-thickness, and entrapped air bubbles (blisters) in the bulk of US probe acoustic stacks were detected and studied. Analysis of 2D images and defects visualization by means of ultrasound-based NDT method were compared with electroacoustic characterization (also following as pulse-echo test) of the US probe through an ad-hoc measurement system. SAM becomes very useful for defect detection in multilayered structures with a thickness of some microns by assuring low time-consuming (a limit for other NDT techniques) and quantitative analyses based on measurements. The study provides a tangible contribution and identifies an advantage for manufacturers of ultrasound probes that are oriented toward continuous improvement devoted to the process capability, product quality, and in-process inspection. View Full-Text
Keywords: quality improvement; industrial applications; capability enhancement; manufacturing process; scanning acoustic microscopy (SAM); non-destructive testing (NDT); damage detection and visualization; internal defects; failure analysis quality improvement; industrial applications; capability enhancement; manufacturing process; scanning acoustic microscopy (SAM); non-destructive testing (NDT); damage detection and visualization; internal defects; failure analysis
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Bertocci, F.; Grandoni, A.; Djuric-Rissner, T. Scanning Acoustic Microscopy (SAM): A Robust Method for Defect Detection during the Manufacturing Process of Ultrasound Probes for Medical Imaging. Sensors 2019, 19, 4868.

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