Ultrasonic technologies are used in various industries, from healthcare to environmental monitoring. However, few people are aware of this technology and how it works. One of the products of ultrasonic technology is the ultrasonic transducer.
Are you planning to buy an ultrasonic transducer? This article is perfect for you. We are going to discuss everything you should know about ultrasonic transducers.
- 1 What is an ultrasonic transducer?
- 2 How does an ultrasonic transducer work?
- 3 What does an ultrasonic transducer look like?
- 4 Components of an ultrasonic transducer
- 5 Types of ultrasonic transducers
- 6 Applications of ultrasonic transducers
- 7 Where to buy an ultrasonic transducer?
What is an ultrasonic transducer?
An ultrasonic transducer is a device that either generates or senses the ultrasound energy. So, what is ultrasound energy? Ultrasound is the sound wave with a frequency greater than the human hearing range. In the case of an ultrasonic transducer, it will be a device that converts electrical energy into ultrasound energy or vice versa.
Ultrasonic transducers are designed to generate and sense high-frequency sound waves.
The ultrasonic transducer is also known as the ultrasonic sensor or ultrasonic detector. They are available in different shapes and sizes, but they all have the same function: to convert one form of energy into another. For example, an ultrasonic transmitter converts electrical energy into ultrasound energy; the ultrasonic sensor or detector can sense these ultrasound waves.
Ultrasound transducers have been used in several industries for many years now, including the medical industry, automotive industry, food industry, etc. They are widely used because they provide excellent performance at a low cost. Ultrasound technology has been proven reliable and effective during the years of research and development it went through before its commercialization.
How does an ultrasonic transducer work?
An ultrasonic transducer works on the principle of the piezoelectric effect. Piezoelectricity is the capacity of certain materials to generate electric charge when they are mechanically stressed and mechanical stress when an electric charge is applied. When an ultrasonic transmitter is switched on, the electrical energy from the power supply will be converted into ultrasound energy by the ultrasonic transducer.
Ultrasonic sensor or detector work on a different principle: it converts ultrasound energy (generated by the ultrasonic transmitter) into electrical energy (which can be read by a digital multimeter). The ultrasonic detector’s ultrasound waves are, in fact, mechanical vibrations. These vibrations would then be converted into electrical signals that can be processed and used for various applications.
An ultrasonic transducer consists of one or more piezoelectric crystals that are enclosed in a housing made of metal or plastic. The metal housing provides vibration isolation to prevent any unwanted vibration from passing through to other system components. The piezoelectric crystal is used to convert electrical signals into ultrasonic vibration and vice versa.
An ultrasonic sensor or detector consists of one or more piezoelectric crystals that are enclosed in a housing made of metal or plastic. The metal housing provides vibration isolation to prevent any unwanted vibration from passing through to other system components. The piezoelectric crystal converts ultrasound energy into an electrical signal and vice versa.
What does an ultrasonic transducer look like?
The ultrasonic transducer comprises two parts: the transmitter and receiver. The transmitter generates the high-frequency sound waves while the receiver receives them. These two parts can be made from different materials depending on the application.
For example, if you are looking for a low-frequency sound wave, you will need to use an aluminum alloy or copper as these materials have high conductivity rates. If you want to use it for medium frequency, you can use titanium for its good strength-to-weight ratio. For high-frequency sound waves, you can use plastic or ceramics.
Components of an ultrasonic transducer
Key components of ultrasonic transducer include;
Crystal/ ceramic element with the piezoelectric effect
This is the most important component of an ultrasonic transducer. The piezoelectric effect is electricity generation by applying mechanical stress onto a crystal or ceramic. Piezoelectric elements work best with high-frequency sound waves; this is why they are used in ultrasonic transducers.
These are connected to the piezoelectric element and are used to transmit electrical signals across the crystal or ceramic. The electrodes are made from a conductive material like copper or aluminum so that when it comes into contact with the piezoelectric element, an electric current will be produced.
The two main electrodes include the positive electrode and the ground electrode.
This is a non-conductive material that is used to absorb excess vibration from the crystal/ ceramic in order to reduce noise and improve performance of your acoustic sensor. It also provides structural support for your transducer.
The damping block can be made from different materials depending on your application: plastic, paper, foam, or other non-conductive material.
This is the space within which the piezoelectric element is placed. The cavity has a certain volume so that it can act as an acoustic chamber that can be used to measure sound waves. This cavity needs to be large enough for the crystal/ceramic to vibrate freely but small enough so that it won’t interfere with the transducer’s performance.
The size of your cavity will affect how far away you can detect sound waves and what type of sound waves you can detect.
A larger cavity will allow you to detect higher frequency sounds and a smaller cavity will allow you to detect lower frequency sounds. The size of your cavity also determines whether your piezoelectric element will vibrate at a single frequency or multiple frequencies simultaneously.
This is the part of the device that surrounds your piezoelectric element.
The housing can be made from any non-conductive material, typically plastic or hard rubber. The housing keeps your crystal/ceramic in place while it vibrates and provides structural support for other parts of the device.
This is the part of the device that converts energy into mechanical motion. In order for sound to be detected, this must vibrate at a certain frequency. This frequency will depend on the type of transducer used and how it’s placed within your microphone array.
The size and shape of your transducer depends on what you want to detect and how far away you want to detect it: short-range (less than 1m), mid-range (1-3m), long-range (more than 3m).
So, next time you are working on a transducer, take time to verify that it has all these components.
Types of ultrasonic transducers
Even though they have the same working principle, they come in different forms, designs, and operational mechanisms. Let’s look at the different types of ultrasonic transducers in the market.
Dual element transducers
As the name suggests, this type of ultrasonic transducer comprises two crystal elements under the same housing. A single acoustic barrier separates these elements.
One element of this transducer acts as a generator. It generates sound waves. The other element acts as a receiver since it receives the waves.
A dual-element transducer is the cheapest way to get an ultrasonic transducer on the market. Since these are low-cost, you can easily use them for your own experiments without having to worry about quality or durability issues.
This type of ultrasonic transducer is composed of a crystal element with a metal plate or a metal cylinder. The element with the metal plate or cylinder is the transmitter and the other element acts as the receiver. The transmitter receives the waves, converts them into electricity, then sends them to the receiver.
The benefit of using this type of transducer is that it gives a high-quality sound since it transmits both electrical and mechanical waves. This means that you can use this transducer to detect objects at great distances accurately.
Angle beam transducers
This type of ultrasonic transducer uses an angle beam mechanism to transmit and receive sound waves. This means that it has an adjustable angle to transmit and receive sound waves accurately within a specific range of angles.
The main advantage of this type of ultrasonic transducer is its ability to transmit both electrical and mechanical waves, which results in accurate detection at long distances without focusing on a specific area.
This type of ultrasonic transducer uses a frequency modulator, which is an electronic circuit that alters the signal frequency to transmit and receive sound waves. The advantage of using this type of ultrasonic transducer is that it has a wide range of frequencies for both transmitting and receiving. This means that you can use this transducer to detect objects at long distances accurately.
This single-element transducer is ideally designed to work with a replaceable delay line. So why is it called a delay transducer? It is because it causes a time delay between the generation of the sound wave and the reception of the same wave.
This delay helps to improve the surface resolution of the transducer. This is a very common type of transducer and is used in almost every sonar device.
These are single-element transducers that are mainly used in water hence the name immersion. These can be used to detect objects at a very long range and are also used in underwater microphones.
Sonic boom transducers
This is a type of transducer that is mainly used for military purposes. It is a non-directional ultrasonic transducer used to detect targets from a very long distance. The main benefit of using this type of transducer is that it can be used at any angle, and the target can be detected even if it has passed by the device. This is why it is called a sonic boom transducer.
Applications of ultrasonic transducers
There is no doubt that ultrasonic sensors have a wide range of applications in the modern world. To give you a hint, let’s outline some of these areas in which the transducers are heavily relied on.
In the medical field
Ultrasonic devices are used in the medical field to detect early signs of cancer, detect early signs of heart diseases.
Ultrasound is one of the most effective diagnostic tools available in the current times, and just like many other technologies, it has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. However, one thing that is sure about this technology is that it is highly reliable and accurate compared to other imaging techniques such as X-ray, Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), CT scans, etc.
This technology can be very useful both for diagnostic purposes and therapeutic ones. It can be used for monitoring various conditions like infertility, diabetes, pregnancy, etc. It can also be used for detecting tumors or any other abnormalities inside your body.
In the Manufacturing field
Ultrasonic transducers are used in many manufacturing processes like welding, cutting, drilling, and tapping. Ultrasonic transducers are used to cut metals and also for the detection of defects on a micro-level. Ultrasonic transducers are also used in the production process of semiconductors, fiber optics, and other materials.
In the military field
Ultrasonic transducers are the most preferred equipment for the detection of objects that may be hazardous to flight safety. The use of this equipment is confined to only those areas where there is a high risk of collision or other danger to aircraft.
This technology has been very successful in its application as it can detect things like mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO).
Ultrasonic transducers are also used in various fields such as medicine, manufacturing, etc. They can be very useful for multiple purposes.
In the Construction field
Ultrasonic transducers are used in many construction processes like welding, cutting, and drilling. Ultrasonic transducers are used to cut metals and also for the detection of defects on a micro-level. Ultrasonic transducers are also used in the production process of semiconductors, fiber optics, and other materials.
Where to buy an ultrasonic transducer?
If you are looking for an ultrasonic transducer, you will come across many companies providing these products. However, some companies provide the best quality products. Buying ultrasonic transducers from a trusted company will ensure that you get the best product.
At ICRFQ, we can help you source the best ultrasonic transducers in China. Using our expansive network and experience, we will connect you to some of the most reputable manufacturers and suppliers of transducers for your relevant application area.
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