Note: Piezoelectric Polymers as Transducers for the Ultrasonic-Reflection Method and the Application in Mechanical Property-Screening of Coatings

Rev Sci Instrum. 2012 Jan;83(1):016102. doi: 10.1063/1.3675892.


In the last years, non-destructive ultrasonic testing methods are more and more frequently employed in order to investigate the drying and curing processes of different coatings. Among them an ultrasonic reflection method was developed allowing the simultaneous measurement with longitudinal and transversal waves. In order to generate the ultrasonic pulse, piezoelectric ceramics or oxides are usually used as transducer materials which are connected to a delay line. Here, we demonstrate a similar approach for the ultrasonic reflection method installing piezoelectric polymers as ultrasonic transducer materials. In detail, poly(vinylidene fluoride and trifluoroethylene) [P(VDF-TrFE)] copolymers were prepared as piezoelectric transducer layers directly onto the metallization of glass delay lines avoiding additional bonding processes. The film preparation was carried out by solvent casting the polymer onto an area with a diameter of 12 mm and is optimized so that relatively homogeneous polymer layers with thicknesses between 14 and 35 μm are adjusted by the deposited amount of the polymer. Electrical poling renders the polymer piezoelectric. The ultrasonic properties of the P(VDF-TrFE) transducer and their usability for the ultrasonic reflection method are described also in comparison to previous measurements using LiNbO(3) transducer.