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Open AccessArticle

A Quantitative Ultrasonic Travel-Time Tomography to Investigate Liquid Elaborations in Industrial Processes

1
Engineering Tomography Lab (ETL), University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK
2
Research & Development Centre Netrix S.A., Wojciechowska 31, 20-704 Lublin, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(23), 5117; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19235117
Received: 14 October 2019 / Revised: 19 November 2019 / Accepted: 20 November 2019 / Published: 22 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Intelligent Sensors)
This work presents an ultrasound tomography imaging system and method for quantitative mapping of the sound speed in liquid masses. It is highly desirable to be able to inspect vessel fluid mass distribution, notably in the chemical and food industrial operations. Optimization of industrial reactors has been crucial to the improvement of industrial processes. There is a great need to investigate how and if tomographic imaging sensors could aid the automatic control of these process tanks. Single-measurement ultrasound techniques and especially spectrometric methods have been a subject of study of industrial applications. Tomographic systems provide key multi-dimensional and spatial information when compared to the well-established single-channel measurement system. Recently, ultrasound tomography has attracted a great deal of interest in a wide spectrum of industrial applications. The system has been designed as 32 piezoelectric ring-array positioned in a 30 cm tank, with an excitation frequency of 40 kHz. Two-dimensional transmission travel-time tomography was developed to reconstruct the fluid mass distributions. Prior experiments are mainly based on inclusions of a few centimetres and on a liquid solution of different concentrations. They have been conducted to test the spatial and quantitative resolution of the ultrasound imaging device. Analysing the reconstructed images, it is possible to provide accurate spatial resolution with low position errors. The system also demonstrated inclusion movement with a temporal resolution of 4 frames per second (fps) in dynamical imaging sense. Sound velocity quantitative imaging was developed for the investigation of ultrasonic propagation in different liquids. This work, for the first time, shows how quantitative sound velocity imaging using transmission mode time of flight data could be used to characterize liquid density distribution of industrial reactors. The results suggest that ultrasound tomography can be used to quantitatively monitor important process parameters. View Full-Text
Keywords: ultrasound computed tomography (USCT); travel-time tomography; sound-speed imaging; liquid compounds; solution concentration; industrial monitoring; industrial reactors; fluid mixing; fermentation; crystallization ultrasound computed tomography (USCT); travel-time tomography; sound-speed imaging; liquid compounds; solution concentration; industrial monitoring; industrial reactors; fluid mixing; fermentation; crystallization
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Koulountzios, P.; Rymarczyk, T.; Soleimani, M. A Quantitative Ultrasonic Travel-Time Tomography to Investigate Liquid Elaborations in Industrial Processes. Sensors 2019, 19, 5117.

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