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Heating of Polymer Films Induced by HIFU: Study of Acoustic and Thermal Effects

: Lin, C.K.S.; Oehm, L.; Liebler, M.; Brehm, H.; Jenderka, K.-V.; Majschak, J.-P.


IEEE transactions on ultrasonics, ferroelectrics and frequency control 67 (2020), Nr.6, S.1201-1209
ISSN: 0885-3010
ISSN: 0018-9537
Fraunhofer IVV ()

This article 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 acoustothermal 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 with the simulation results. The heating effects in the samples are monitored using an infrared thermography system and compared with the measured particle velocities and with the acoustic and thermal simulation results. Correlations among particle velocities, sound intensity, and polymer heating are investigated. A qualitative and quantitative correlation between the simulation and the 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 1 mm but rises faster. The simulation shows that the sound intensity in polymer samples thinner than 1 mm decreases sharply with the decrease in the thickness of the sample. This study contributes to the understanding of the challenges in heating thin polymer films by HIFU in a dry environment, using only a force to couple the transducer to the polymer films.