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Switching Action of a Bistable Fluidic Amplifier for Ultrasonic Testing

Schweitzer, Thorge; Hörmann, Marla; Bühling, Benjamin; Bobusch, Bernhard

Air-coupled ultrasonic testing is widely used in the industry for the non-destructive testing of compound materials. It provides a fast and efficient way to inspect large concrete civil infrastructures for damage that might lead to catastrophic failure. Due to the large penetration depths required for concrete structures, the use of traditional piezoelectric transducer requires high power electric systems. In this study, a novel fluidic transducer based on a bistable fluidic amplifier is investigated. Previous experiments have shown that the switching action of the device produces a high-power broadband ultrasonic signal. This study will provide further insight into the switching behaviour of the fluidic switch. Therefore, parametric CFD simulations based on compressible supersonic RANS simulations were performed, varying the inlet pressure and velocity profiles for the control flow. Switching times are analyzed with different methods, and it was found that these are mostly independent of the slope of the velocity profile at the control port. Furthermore, it was found that an inversely proportional relationship exists between flow velocity in the throat and the switching time. The results agree with the theoretical background established by experimental studies that can be found in the literature.
Published in: Fluids, 10.3390/fluids6050171, MDPI