Novel ultrasound backing materials based on polymer composites with improved dimensional stability and low coefficient of thermal expansion are being developed and analyzed. For this purpose a filled epoxy resin (Stycast1265), a commonly used backing material, was considered reference material and polyurethane composites (PU2305, PU2350) were proposed as better alternatives. When compared to the reference, the PU2350 filled with a mixture of Al2O3 and tungsten exhibited an approximately 15 times lower glassy transition temperature and a 2.5 time lower longitudinal thermal expansion at 20 °C. This ensures that within the entire operational temperature range the backing material is flexible, minimizing the thermal stresses induced onto transducer elements soldered joints and piezoceramic core. For the same material, the attenuation at 5 MHz was similar to the reference material while at 7 and 8.5 MHz it was 33% and 54% higher respectively. From these analyses it is concluded that the newly developed polyurethane composites outperform the reference backing with respect to the thermal dimensional stability as well as to the damping properties. An integrated rigorous mechano-acoustical approach is being proposed as an appropriate passive material design path. It can be easily extended to any other passive materials used for ultrasound transducer conception. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
State, M., Brands, P. J., & Vosse, van de, F. N. (2010). Improving the thermal dimensional stability of flexible polymer composite backing materials for ultrasound transducers. Ultrasonics, 50(4-5), 458-466. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ultras.2009.10.004