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Cambridge Ultrasonics
Cambridge, UK
Consultancy service in physics, electronics, maths & ultrasonics

Cambridge Ultrasonics

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FE - at a glance

  • Model ultrasonic propagation effects
  • Model scattering
  • Include piezoelectric components
  • Model temperature changes
  • Compare with visualization experiments

Finite Element modelling

Cambridge Ultrasonics has been using Comsol multi-physics FE modelling software for about 5 years and other brands of FE software before.

FE allows us to model how ultrasonic waves are generated and how they travel through the material coupled to the transducer. This is our primary interest.

Comsol FE also allows us to model the piezoelectric operation of the transducers and various other interesting effects, such as temperature rises in transducers and coupling of ultrasonic energy into the various mechanical components in a transducer. We can also model electro-magnetic effects for electro-mechanical transducers and magnetostrictive transducers. Acoustic problems associated with loudspeakers can be investigated in this way.

It is not straightforward to create a FE model that will give good results. The solution of wave propagation problems requires using fine time-steps to propagate solutions in time requiring a difficult FE problem to be solved hundreds or thousands of times. Raw computing power is needed.

Cambridge Ultrasonics has the great advantage of having its own visualization equipment, which allows us to verify some of the wave propagation effects predicted by an FE model. The combination of FE modelling and experimental verification makes our service unique (to the best of our knowledge).

FE modelling allows us to view the deformation in opaque materials as well as transparent. Our visualization system is restricted to transparent materials or transparent models of opaque materials.

A recent application was to develop a power transducer to launch plane waves into air. A thick flexing plate was modelled with surface steps to provide phase compensation for the flexural resonances in the plate.

This site shows examples of FE problems we have solved with video output.