On the validity and improvement of the ultrasonic pulse-echo immersion technique to measure real attenuation

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A fundamental assumption embraced in conventional use of the ultrasonic pulse-echo immersion technique to measure attenuation in solid materials is revisited. The cited assumption relies on perfect and immutable adhesion at the water to sample interface, a necessary condition that allows calculating the reflection coefficient at any interface from elastic wave propagation theory. This parameter is then used to correct the measured signal and obtain the real attenuation coefficient of the sample under scrutiny. In this paper, cases in which the perfectly cohesive interfacial condition is not satisfied are presented. It is shown also that in those cases, the repeatability of the conditions at the interface is always uncertain. This implies that the reflection coefficients are unknown, even when density is known. A new method of simultaneously measuring the reflection coefficients for both exposed interfaces that are normal to the transducer, and the attenuation coefficient of the specimen is developed and is presented here. The robustness of the new method is proven, as we demonstrate that the proper value of attenuation is achieved independently of the continuously varying interfacial conditions of these non-ideal cases. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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