Acoustical intensity probe based on a polyvinylidene fluoride bimorph

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This study investigates complex acoustical intensity using a polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) bimorph. Analytical models of the open-circuit voltage outputs of an infinite-strip-shaped PVDF bimorph cantilever in an underwater sound field are developed. Results show that the sound pressure generates the sum of the outputs, while the particle velocity normal to the PVDF surface generates the difference. The sensitivities of the pressure- and velocity-generated voltage responses with respect to an incident plane sound field demonstrate uniform directivity in a low-frequency range, which is suitable for acoustical intensity determination. The higher velocity sensitivity confirms the advantage of using a PVDF bimorph as a velocity sensor, owing to its light weight and flexibility. An algorithm for determining the complex acoustical intensity normal to the surface is proposed by utilizing those voltage responses and the probe gain calibrated with a given angle of incident sound. This algorithm allows accurate determination of sound intensity of a plane wave field, where the reactive part of intensity is absent. However, a small error may exist when the reactive intensity is large and active intensity is small. This small discrepancy arises from the inherent variation in the phase directivity of the gains, which decrease with frequency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4083-4094
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


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