Simulation of the influence of hydrophones used for the characterization of pressure field distribution in low frequency, high power ultrasonic reactor vessels

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This paper describes the use of a finite element (FE) modeling approach to investigate the influence of different hydrophone designs in laboratory scale reactor vessels. In addition to conventional PVDF membrane and piezoceramic hydrophone, the performance of a conceptual array hydrophone, comprising a 2D matrix of PVDF array elements, will be simulated. The FE modeling concentrates on two issues: the disturbance to the field through the introduction of each hydrophone configuration; and their suitability and response to measuring non-linear effects. To simplify the model the ultrasonic transducer is not directly represented. Here, a pressure loading function is used as the excitation technique, with a sawtooth waveform applied for the simulation of the non-linear detection capability of each hydrophone configuration. The results from the simulation programme demonstrate that the dynamics of the reactor vessel are critical to optimize the performance of the ultrasonic system. In addition, the introduction of a hydrophone alters the wave propagation, and hence the field distribution beyond a given probe location. Nevertheless, the spatial pressure distribution at the active area remains reasonably accurate if within the useable bandwidth of the device. Accordingly, the broadband nature of the membrane device is suited to operation in both the linear and non-linear regimes, with the PVDF array membrane device offering a fast, convenient measurement of the pressure field distribution for industrial applications.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Event1999 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium - Caesars Tahoe, Nevada, United States
Duration: 17 Oct 199920 Oct 1999


Conference1999 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium
CountryUnited States


  • nonlinear acoustics
  • hydrophones
  • finite element analysis

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