Modeling of Ultrasonic Transducers and Ultrasonic Wave Propagation for Commercial Applications Using Finite Elements with Experimental Visualization of Waves for Validation

D. R. Andrews[1]
[1]Cambridge Ultrasonics, Over, UK

Finite element (FE) modelling of ultrasonic propagation using COMSOL Multiphysics® simulations can be used to create images of waves. Unfortunately, in time-stepping solutions, it is possible for numerical instabilities to grow large and dominate the solution adversely. Any design of transducer that is based upon poorly-configured FE models is unlikely to perform as expected and will almost certainly result in delayed and costly development.

Schlieren visualization experiments provide an effective approach to validation by rendering visible ultrasonic waves in transparent materials using a combination of stroboscopic illumination and contrast enhancement. The combination of FE modelling with successful experimental visualization provides a high degree of confidence in FE models and allows rapid development of complex ultrasonic transducers to proceed efficiently and cost-effectively.