"Ultrasonics" is a trade term coined by the Ultrasonic Manufacturers Association and used by its successor, the Ultrasonic Industry Association, to refer to the use of high-intensity acoustic energy to change materials. This usage is contrasted to "
ultrasound", which is generally reserved for imaging, as in sonar, materials examination (NDI), and diagnostics ( mammography, doppler bloodflow, etc.). However, in spite of this distinction, much technical material on ultrasound imaging actually uses the term ultrasonics, for example
* "Ultrasonic Flaw Detection for Technicians", 3rd ed., 2004 by J. C. Drury
* "Ultrasonic nondestructive evaluation : engineering and biological material characterization", Boca Raton, FL : CRC Press, c2004, by Tribikram Kundu
Ultrasonication offers great potential in the processing of liquids and slurries, by improving the mixing and chemical reactions in various applications and industries. Ultrasonication generates alternating low-pressure and high-pressure waves in liquids, leading to the formation and violent collapse of small
vacuumbubbles. This phenomenon is termed cavitationand causes high speed impinging liquid jets and strong hydrodynamic shear-forces. These effects are used for the deagglomeration and milling of micrometre and nanometre-size materials as well as for the disintegration of cells or the mixing of reactants. In this aspect, ultrasonication is an alternative to high-speed mixers and agitator bead mills. Ultrasonic foils under the moving wire in a paper machine will use the shock waves from the imploding bubbles to distribute the cellulose fibres more uniform in the produced paper web, which will make a stronger paper with more even surfaces, see more on [http://www.ultratechnology.se/ Ultra Technology] . Furthermore, chemical reactions benefit from the free radicals created by the cavitation as well as from the energy input and the material transfer through boundary layers. For many processes, this sonochemical (see sonochemistry) effect leads to a substantial reduction the reaction time, like in the transesterificationof oil into biodiesel.Ultrasonication can easily be tested in lab scale for its effect on various liquid formulations. Within the past five years equipment manufacturers like [http://www.hielscher.com/ultrasonics/industry.htm Hielscher] developed a number of larger ultrasonic processors of up to 16 kW power. Therefore volumes from 1mL up to several hundred gallons per minute can be sonicated today in order to achieve all kinds of results from the link that is shown below.
* [http://www.scs.uiuc.edu/suslick/ Kenneth S. Suslick on Chemical Effects of Ultrasonics including nano-materials synthesis and sonoluminescence]
* [http://www.ecospheretech.com/index.php/technology/ozonix-process Ultrasonics and advanced oxidation process demonstration]
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