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­ltrasound Patch Could Make it Easier to Inspect Damage in Odd-Shaped Structures

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The flexible ultrasound patch can be stretched and twisted without compromising its electronic functions.

University of California, San Diego researchers have developed a stretchable, flexible patch that could make it easier to perform ultrasound imaging on odd-shaped structures

Credit: Hongjie Hu

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have developed a flexible patch that could help perform ultrasound imaging on objects difficult to inspect with conventional ultrasound equipment, such as machine and building parts.

Current ultrasound devices are difficult to use on objects that lack perfectly flat surfaces. The new device is a thin patch of silicone elastomer on which an array of small electronic parts is connected by spring-like structures.

In testing on a wavy aluminum block with defects two to six centimeters beneath the surface, the probe was able to image the 2-millimeter-wide holes and cracks inside the block.

The researchers say the device could be used on different parts of a bridge to continuously monitor for cracks.

From UC San Diego News Center
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