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Proceedings Paper

Waterless coupling of ultrasound from planar contact transducers to curved and irregular surfaces during non-destructive ultrasonic evaluations
Author(s): Kayte Denslow; Aaron Diaz; Mark Jones; Ryan Meyer; Anthony Cinson; Mondell Wells
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Paper Abstract

The Applied Physics group at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, WA has evaluated a method for waterless/liquidless coupling of ultrasonic energy from planar ultrasonic contact transducers to irregular test surfaces for ultrasonic non-destructive evaluation applications. Dry couplant material placed between a planar transducer face and a curved or uneven steel or plastic surface allows for effective sound energy coupling and preserves the integrity of the planar transducer sound field by serving as an acoustic impedance matching layer, providing good surface area contact between geometrically dissimilar surfaces and conforming to rough and unsmooth surfaces. Sound fields radiating from planar ultrasonic contact transducers coupled to curved and uneven surfaces using the dry coupling method were scanned and mapped using a Pinducer receiver connected to a raster scanner. Transducer sound field coverage at several ultrasonic frequencies and several distances from the transducer contact locations were found to be in good agreement with theoretical beam divergence and sound field coverage predictions for planar transducers coupled to simple, planar surfaces. This method is valuable for applications that do not allow for the use of traditional liquid-based ultrasonic couplants due to the sensitivity of the test materials to liquids and for applications that might otherwise require curved transducers or custom coupling wedges. The selection of dry coupling material is reported along with the results of theoretical sound field predictions, the laboratory testing apparatus and the empirical sound field data.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 April 2012
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 8347, Nondestructive Characterization for Composite Materials, Aerospace Engineering, Civil Infrastructure, and Homeland Security 2012, 834711 (5 April 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.917507
Show Author Affiliations
Kayte Denslow, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
Aaron Diaz, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
Mark Jones, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
Ryan Meyer, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
Anthony Cinson, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
Mondell Wells, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8347:
Nondestructive Characterization for Composite Materials, Aerospace Engineering, Civil Infrastructure, and Homeland Security 2012
Andrew L. Gyekenyesi, Editor(s)

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