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Ultrasonic measurement of condensate film thickness
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FIG. 1.

(Color online) The six propagation paths associated with wave(2,3) resulting from a single excitation pulse. Corresponding path details can be found in Table I.

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FIG. 2.

(Color online) Acquired wave form processing steps: (a) Base wave form, no liquid present. (b) Wave form with -pentane film present. (c) Wave form in (a) subtracted from the wave form in (b) to reveal reflections from the pentane film. Before subtraction, the amplitude of (a) is reduced commensurate with the change in impedance caused by adding a film to the metal surface. (d) Comparison of measured and simulated signals created by reflections in the pentane layer.

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FIG. 3.

(Color online) Measured film thickness for an upward facing condensing -pentane film. (a) Measured thickness (points) and corresponding smoothed curves (thin lines) for each of the four transducers. Also plotted is the predicted thickness (thick line). (b) Difference between measured and predicted values from (a) (points) as well as the difference between smooth curve and prediction from (a) (lines). Also plotted are of predicted thickness. (c) Difference between measured values and corresponding smooth curve for each transducer. The variance of the differences is about .


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The current work describes a modified time-of-flight ultrasound signal processing technique applied to the study of a distal liquid layer with a free surface. The technique simulates multiple reflections analytically and determines the film thickness by comparison to the measured pulse echo signal. The technique is applied with transducers to an -pentane film condensing on a copper plate. The technique proved capable of measuring liquid thickness from approximately , the acoustic wavelength in pentane, to greater than . Near the lower thickness limit, echoes from the liquid/vapor interface overlap each other and the significantly larger echoes from the metal/liquid interface.


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Scitation: Ultrasonic measurement of condensate film thickness