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The design of a high power ultrasonic test cell using finite element modelling techniques

Gachagan, A. and Speirs, David and McNab, A. (2003) The design of a high power ultrasonic test cell using finite element modelling techniques. Ultrasonics, 41 (4). pp. 283-288.

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Abstract

This paper will describe the application of a finite element (FE) code to design a test cell, in which a single transducer is used to generate acoustic cavitation. The FE model comprises a 2-D slice through the centre of the test cell and was used to evaluate the generated pressure fields as a function of frequency. Importantly, the pressure fields predicted by FE modelling are used to indicate the position of pressure peaks, or 'hot-spots', and nulls enabling the systems design engineer to visualise both the potential cavitation areas, corresponding to the 'hot-spots', and areas of low acoustic pressure. Through this design process, a rectangular test cell was constructed from perspex for use with a 40 kHz Tonpilz transducer. A series of experimental measurements was conducted to evaluate the cavitation threshold as a function of temperature and viscosity/surface tension, for different fluid load media. The results indicate the potential of the FE design approach and assist the design engineer in understanding the influence of the fluid load medium on the cell's ability to produce a strong cavitation field.