Influence of Microstructure on the High-Frequency Ultrasound Measurement of Peak Density

Jeremy Stromer, Leila Ladani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Peak density is an ultrasound measurement, which has been found to vary according to microstructure, and is defined as the number of local extrema within the resulting power spectrum of an ultrasound measurement. However, the physical factors which influence peak density are not fully understood. This work studies the microstructural characteristics which affect peak density through experimental, computationa,l and analytical means for high-frequency ultrasound of 22-41 MHz. Experiments are conducted using gelatin-based phantoms with glass microsphere scatterers with diameters of 5, 9, 34, and 69 μm and number densities of 1, 25, 50, 75, and 100 mm-3. The experiments show the peak density to vary according to the configuration. For example, for phantoms with a number density of 50 mm-3, the peak density has values of 3, 5, 9, and 12 for each sphere diameter. Finite element simulations are developed and analytical methods are discussed to investigate the underlying physics. Simulated results showed similar trends in the response to microstructure as the experiment. When comparing scattering cross section, peak density was found to vary similarly, implying a correlation between the total scattering and the peak density. Peak density and total scattering increased predominately with increased particle size but increased with scatterer number as well. Simulations comparing glass and polystyrene scatterers showed dependence on the material properties. Twenty-four of the 56 test cases showed peak density to be statistically different between the materials. These values behaved analogously to the scattering cross section.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number041008
JournalJournal of Nondestructive Evaluation, Diagnostics and Prognostics of Engineering Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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