Flexible Piezoelectric Transducer for Ultrasonic Inspection of Non-Planar Components

Ultrasonics. 2008 Sep;48(5):367-75. doi: 10.1016/j.ultras.2008.01.006. Epub 2008 Feb 14.


This paper presents the fabrication and characterisation of a flexible ultrasonic transducer using commercially available PZT-5A piezoelectric fibers which are lapped to form rectangular piezoelectric elements. The key feature in the device construction is the inclusion of gaps between the piezoelectric fibers to ensure good flexibility in the plane normal to the fiber direction. The spatial response of the transducer ultrasonic output was assessed using acoustographic imaging. The flexibility of the transducer and its applicability in pulse-echo mode on curved sections was demonstrated by testing on a 38 mm diameter steel rod. The transducer response was found to be broad band and highly non uniform but good pulse-echo performance was achieved at 5 MHz.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Computer Simulation
  • Computer-Aided Design*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Light
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Transducers*
  • Ultrasonography / instrumentation*