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Proceedings Paper

Numerical comparison of patch and sandwich piezoelectric transducers for transmitting ultrasonic waves
Author(s): Philip W. Loveday
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Paper Abstract

Guided wave ultrasonic inspection is becoming an important method of non-destructive testing for long, slender structures such as pipes and rails. Often it is desirable to use transducers that can strongly excite a specific mode of wave propagation in the waveguide. Piezoelectric patch transducers are frequently employed, by researchers, for exciting waves in beam like structures. Sonar systems frequently make use of resonant transducers, such as sandwich transducers, for acoustic wave generation and this principle has been used to excite waves in a rail. This paper compares the two transduction approaches, for launching bending waves in rectangular waveguides, with numerical modeling. The numerical modeling combined a waveguide finite element model, of the waveguide, with conventional three-dimensional piezoelectric finite element models of the transducers. The waveguide finite elements were formulated using a complex exponential to describe the wave propagation along the structure and conventional finite element interpolation over the area of the element. Consequently, only a two-dimensional finite element mesh covering the cross-section of the waveguide is required. The harmonic forced response of the waveguide was used to compute a complex dynamic stiffness matrix which represented the waveguide in the transducer model. The effects of geometrical parameters of patch and sandwich transducers were considered before the comparison was made. It appears that piezoelectric patch transducers offer advantages at low frequencies while sandwich transducers are superior at high frequencies, where resonance can be exploited, at the cost of more complex design.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 March 2006
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6166, Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Modeling, Signal Processing, and Control, 616612 (27 March 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.658451
Show Author Affiliations
Philip W. Loveday, CSIR Material Science and Manufacturing (South Africa)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6166:
Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Modeling, Signal Processing, and Control
Douglas K. Lindner, Editor(s)

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