Industrial uses of ultrasound

Detecting defects in metals

Ultrasound can be used in industry to detect defects in metals.

Ultrasound can be used to check for cracks in a material by a source emitting an ultrasound wave which hits any cracks. The wave is reflected back to the detector and sent to the signal processor.

Materials can be tested for internal faults and cracks that could lead to the failure of a structure under certain conditions.

Ultrasound imaging provides a quick method of detection and perhaps prevents serious accidents.

Cleaning jewellery

Ultrasound can be used to clean jewellery.

The vibrations caused by the ultrasound shake apart the dirt, breaking it up.

The principle is the same as the opera singer's trick, where a glass may shatter if the singer makes a high-pitched sound near to the glass which causes it to vibrate with large amplitude.