Determination of the material properties of polymers using laser-generated broadband ultrasound
Abstract. In the non-destructive determination of material properties, the utilization of ultrasound has proven to be a viable tool. In the presented paper, a laser is used to create broadband acoustic waves in plate-shaped specimens by applying the photoacoustic effect. The waves are detected using a purpose-built ultrasonic transducer that is based on piezoceramics instead of the commonly used piezoelectric polymer films. This new transducer concept allows for detection of ultrasonic waves up to 10 MHz with high sensitivity, thereby allowing the characterization of highly damping materials such as polymers. The recorded data are analysed using different methods to obtain information on the propagation modes transmitted along the specimen. In an inverse procedure, the gained results are compared to simulations, yielding approximations for the specimen's material properties.