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1 May 1998 Novel volume fraction gradient and oriented piezoelectric composites for medical imaging applications
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In ultrasonic medical imaging it is desirable to have the maximum beam sensitivity along the transmission axis. However, the presence of gratin and side lobes greatly affects the transducer performance. It is known that the grating lobes can be reduced by non-uniform spacing of elements in the composite. In spite of this knowledge, it has been found to be difficult to fabricate piezocomposites with complex designs using traditional processing routes. The ceramic element spacing can be varied easily using solid freeform fabrication (SFF) techniques. In this work SFF techniques, including Sanders Prototyping (SP) and fused deposition of ceramics were used to make many novel piezoelectric ceramic/polymer composite transducers. A variety of 2-2 PZT-5H/spurr epoxy volume fraction gradient samples have been fabricated. Many mathematical functions, including linear, gaussian and exponential gradients were designed using Pro Engineer software. Novel oriented composites have also been fabricate where the ceramic elements are at an angle to the thickness direction. The piezoelectric properties are found to change with the orientation of piezoelectric rods. The optimum properties have been observed at an orientation of 30 degrees to the vertical where the total contribution from the d33, d31 and d15 components could be the highest. These oriented composites may be used to focus the acoustic beam at a point by varying the orientation angle of the rods within the same composite. The design, fabrication and electromechanical properties of these composites are discussed in this paper.
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Rajesh K. Panda, T. Raj Gururaja, Stephen C. Danforth, and Ahmad Safari "Novel volume fraction gradient and oriented piezoelectric composites for medical imaging applications", Proc. SPIE 3341, Medical Imaging 1998: Ultrasonic Transducer Engineering, (1 May 1998);

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