Ultrasonic sensor for high temperature gas filled vessels

J. S. Sandman, B. R. Tittmann

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


The focus of this paper is an Ultrasonic Position Indication System (UPIS) that is capable of determining one-dimensional target location in a high temperature steel-container with gaseous medium. The combination of the very high acoustical impedance of steel (45.4MRayl) and the very low impedance of air (0.0004MRayl) causes extremely high-energy losses upon transmission. In addition to the energy loss, propagation through a steel plate produces many internal reflections in the plate. The strategy of this investigation was to develop a self-contained ultrasonic transducer that is capable of replacing a small portion of a high temperature-pressure boundary. In building such a transducer, sufficient acoustic matching layers for the steel-gas interface, a mechanically and acoustically competent housing, a sufficient piezoelectric element, and backing materials are all developed and tested. The results include a successful housing design, high-temperature acoustic matching layers, and subsequent successful waveforms. Target location through 9.6"(24.5cm) of ambient air was successful, with a steel pressure boundary 0.4566" (1.1598cm) thick, and using one matching layer. In addition to the experimental results, this investigation includes numerical simulations. Sample waveforms were predicted one-dimensionally with the Mason model using MatLab, and two-dimensionally with a Coupled Acoustic Piezoelectric Finite Element Method (CAPA) program. The Mason model program predicts waveform changes as the wave travels through various interfaces. CAPA is a finite element program that predicts waveforms based on the equations for ultrasonic wave propagation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of 2006 ASME Pressure Vessels and Piping Division Conference - ASME PVP2006/ICPVT-11 Conference - Pressure Vessel Technologies for the Global Community
StatePublished - 2006
EventASME PVP2006/ICPVT-11 Conference - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Duration: Jul 23 2006Jul 27 2006

Publication series

NameAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers, Pressure Vessels and Piping Division (Publication) PVP
ISSN (Print)0277-027X


OtherASME PVP2006/ICPVT-11 Conference
CityVancouver, BC

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering


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