Articles | Volume 5, issue 1
J. Sens. Sens. Syst., 5, 187–196, 2016

Special issue: Sensor/IRS2 2015

J. Sens. Sens. Syst., 5, 187–196, 2016

Regular research article 07 Jun 2016

Regular research article | 07 Jun 2016

Determination of the material properties of polymers using laser-generated broadband ultrasound

Leander Claes, Thorsten Meyer, Fabian Bause, Jens Rautenberg, and Bernd Henning Leander Claes et al.
  • Measurement Engineering Group, Paderborn University, Warburger Str. 100, 33098 Paderborn, Germany

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.

Short summary
We present a non-destructive method to determine the material properties, for example elastic constants, of metal and polymer plates using laser-generated ultrasound. The ultrasonic signals are detected using an ultrasonic transducer that shows high sensitivity over a wide rage of frequencies. A method of signal processing to determine material properties is described and can be expanded upon to characterize more complex samples, such as fibre reinforced composites.
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