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This paper presents the study of the thermal and acoustic effects occurring in polymer samples of different thicknesses receiving high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU). Whereas the heating mechanisms in polymer plates immersed in water are well known, the physical mechanisms enabling the heating of polymer films using a solid waveguide transducer remain not fully understood. A coupled acousto-thermal finite element simulation is conducted to model the sound field and the heat generation inside polymer samples of different thicknesses. To validate the acoustic model, the acoustic particle velocities at the transducer waveguide tip are measured by vibrometry and compared to the simulation results. The heating effects in the samples are monitored using an infrared thermography system and compared to the measured particle velocities and to the acoustic and thermal simulation results. Correlations between particle velocities, sound intensity and polymer heating are investigated. A qualitative and quantitative correlation between simulation and measurement results is found. Experiments show that the heating effects depend on the sample thickness. In samples thinner than 1 mm, the maximum temperature is lower than the one observed in samples thicker than 1mm but rises faster. The simulation shows that the sound intensity in polymer samples thinner than 1mm decreases sharply with the decrease of the sample thickness. This study contributes to understand the challenges in heating thin polymer films by HIFU in dry environment, using only a force to couple the transducer to the polymer films.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: IEEE transactions on ultrasonics, ferroelectrics, and frequency control
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