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A Wavelet-Based Processing method for simultaneously determining ultrasonic velocity and material thickness

Abstract : Methods of measuring ultrasonic wave velocity in an elastic sample require data on the thickness of the sample and/or the distances between the transducers and the sample. The uncertainty of the ultrasonic wave velocity measurements generally depends on that of the data available. Conversely, to determine the thickness of a material, it is necessary to have a priori information about the wave velocity. This problem is particularly hard to solve when measuring the parameters of biological specimens such as bones having a greater acoustical impedance contrast (typically 3-5 MRayl) than that of the surrounding soft tissues (typically 1.5 MRayl). Measurements of this kind cannot easily be performed. But obtaining the thickness of a bone structure and/or the ultrasonic wave velocity is a important problem, for example, in biomechanical field for the calculation of elastic modulus, or in acoustical imaging field to parameterize the images, and to reference the grey or color level set to a physical parameter. The aim of the present study was to develop a method of simultaneously and independently determining the velocity of an ultrasonic wave in an elastic sample and the wave path across the thickness of this sample, using only one acquisition in pure transmission mode. The new method, which we have called the ''Wavelet-Based Processing'' method, is based on the wavelet decomposition of the signals and on a suitable transmitted incident wave correlated with the experimental device, and the mathematical properties such as orthonormality, of which lend themselves well to the time-scale approach. By following an adapted algorithm, ultrasonic wave velocities in parallelepipedic plates of elastic manufactured material and the apparent thicknesses were both measured using a water tank, a mechanical device and a matched pair of 1 MHz ultrasonic focused transducers having a diameter of 3 mm, a focal length of 150 mmand beam width of 2 2 mmat the focus (mean temperature 22 ). The results were compared with those obtained with a conventional Pulse-mode method and with the control values, to check their validity. Measurements performed on bovine and human dry cortical bone samples are also presented to assess the limitations of the method when it is applied to elastic biological samples, including those of an equal-wavelength size ( 1.5 mm). The thicknesses and the ultrasonic wave velocities were then measured in this kind of (quasi-) parallelepipedic elastic materials with an mean estimated error ranged from 1% to 3.5% compared to the referenced values.
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Matthieu Loosvelt, Philippe Lasaygues. A Wavelet-Based Processing method for simultaneously determining ultrasonic velocity and material thickness. Ultrasonics, Elsevier, 2011, 51 (3), pp.325-339. ⟨10.1016/j.ultras.2010.10.006⟩. ⟨hal-00721352⟩

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