Ferroelectret non-contact ultrasonic transducers
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Dielectric and electromechanical properties of the cellular polypropylene ferroelectret films (EMFIT), combining strong piezoelectric response with a low density and softness, evidence their high potential for the air-coupled ultrasonic applications. The disadvantage of the low coupling factor is compensated by the extremely low acoustic impedance, which provides excellent matching to air and promises efficient sound transmission through the air–transducer interface. The influence of the electrodes on the electromechanical properties was investigated. Electron beam evaporation technology was adapted to the EMFIT films, and films with both-sided Au and Al electrodes were prepared without reducing or suppressing of the electromechanical properties. Finally, prototype transducers based on the EMFIT films were developed. In spite of the simple construction and absence of matching layers, high sensitivity of the EMFIT transducers was proved in the air-coupled ultrasonic experiment. Amplitude and delay time scanned images of the polyethylene step wedge with holes, obtained in both pulse-echo and transmission modes, demonstrate that non-contact ultrasonic imaging and testing with EMFIT transducers is possible.
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