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Hydrophilic polymers for dry-coupling inspection

Applied to nondestructive testing they have the following advantages compared to conventional coupling mediums:

dot Low price
dot Neither sticky, nor greasy
dot Not irritant for skin
dot Odorless, non flammable
dot Easy to apply and to remove
dot Flexible couplant pads
dot Low reverberation dry contact testing of thin wall material is possible
dot Used as low velocity delay lines
dot Ability to transmit high frequencies
dot Temperature range from -30C up to 70C

Hydrophilic Couplants

Unlike conventional dry couplants normally used as an integral part of ultrasonic probes (e.g. rubbers) this elastomer can be applied independently of the probe.

Hydrophilic couplants are available in many sizes and thicknesses, and custom shape designs are also available.

Especially designed couplants based on hydrophilic polymers have superb ultrasonic characteristics. The soft gel-like surface of these materials gives the opportunity for establishing good and continuous acoustic contact to the inspected part without the need of additional coupling liquids. These materials conform very well to rough and geometrically complex surfaces.

Acoustic impedance of the hydrophilic couplants is near to that of immersion liquid and their attenuation coefficient is lower than all other documented elastomers and many plastics. Depending on the type of hydrophilic material and the liquid that it is swelled the operating temperature range of the device can be extended from - 30 C up to 70 C and inspection with frequencies as high as 25 MHz can be achieved.