We report a method of fabricating backing blocks for ultrasonic imaging transducers, using alumina/epoxy composites. Backing blocks contain scatterers such as alumina particles interspersed in the epoxy matrix for the effective scattering and attenuation of ultrasound. Here, the surface integrity can be an issue, where the composite material may be damaged during machining because of differences in strength, hardness and brittleness of the hard alumina particles and the soft epoxy matrix. Poor surface integrity results in the formation of air cavities between the backing block and the piezoelectric element upon assembly, hence the increased reflection off the backing block and the eventual degradation in image quality. Furthermore, with an issue of poor surface integrity due to machining, it is difficult to increase alumina as scatterers more than a specific mass fraction ratio. In this study, we increased the portion of alumina within epoxy matrix by obtaining an enhanced surface integrity using a net shape fabrication method, and verified that this method could allow us to achieve higher ultrasonic attenuation. Backing blocks were net-shaped with various mass fractions of alumina to characterize the formability and the mechanical properties, including hardness, surface roughness and the internal micro-structure, which were compared with those of machined backing blocks. The ultrasonic attenuation property of the backing blocks was also measured.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics