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High School Sound

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Table of Contents 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. Introduction Vibration The Speed of Sound in Air The Speed of Sound in Other Materials Temperature and Speed of Sound The Human Ear The Components of Sound Frequency and Pitch The Doppler Effect Sound Wave Interference Refraction of Sound Reflection of Sound Pulse-echo Ultrasonic Test Ultrasound and Ultrasonic Testing Angle Beam Testing Immersion Ultrasonic Testing

Sound

NOTE: Many of the Flash animations have

sound associated with them. Make sure you have you computer volume turned up so that you can hear them.

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Introduction to Sound

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INTRODUCTION TO SOUND After reading this section you will be able to do the following:
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Discuss why sound plays an important role in your life.

Everyday your world is filled with a multitude of sounds. Sound can let you communicate with others or let others communicate with you. It can be a warning of danger or simply an enjoyable experience. Some sounds can be heard by dogs or other animals but cannot be heard by humans. Click on the buttons below to listen to various sounds.

It is hard to imagine a world without sound. The ability the hear is definitely an important sense. But people who are deaf are remarkable in the ways that they can compensate for their loss of hearing. You will learn more about sound in the following pages.

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Vibration

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VIBRATION After reading this section you will be able to do the following:
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q q

Summarize how sound travels and explain what the energy is that allows it to occur. Describe the different components waves have. List and discuss the different types of waves that exist.

Questions
1. In each case, what is the energy that makes the sound happen?
The discussion feature allows you to summarize the concepts that you learn in the section above. Click the Discussion button below to start.

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The Speed of Sound in Air

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THE SPEED OF SOUND IN AIR After reading this section you will be able to do the following:
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Discuss the relationship between the speed of sound and speed of light. Describe what the sound barrier is.

Questions
1. What conclusion can you draw about the speed of sound relative to

the speed of light?

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The Speed of Sound in Other Materials

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THE SPEED OF SOUND IN OTHER MATERIALS After reading this section you will be able to do the following:
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Explain whether or not the speed of sound is constant for all materials. Describe what elasticity and density are and what relationship they have to the speed of sound.

You are in a long mining tunnel deep under the earth. You have a friend that is several thousands of feet away from you in the tunnel. You tell this person using a walkie talkie to yell and clang on the pipes on the tunnel floor at the same time. Press the play button below to find out what happens.

Speeds of Sound Material Rubber Air at 40oC Speed of Sound 60 m/s 355 m/s

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The Speed of Sound in Other Materials

Glass Lead Stone Copper

4540 m/s 1210 m/s 5971 m/s 3100 m/s

Questions
1. What happens when you change the material through which the

sound travels? 2. Through which material does sound move faster? Why do you think it is faster?

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Temperature and the Speed of Sound

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TEMPERATURE AND THE SPEED OF SOUND After reading this section you will be able to do the following:
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Observe the demonstrations below and explain the differences in the speed of sound when the temperature is changed.
Speed of Sound

358.0 m/s

343.6 m/s

330.4 m/s

Questions
1. What happens to the speed of sound when the temperature

changes? 2. Does sound travel faster or slower as temperature increases?

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Temperature and the Speed of Sound

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The Human Ear

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THE HUMAN EAR After reading this section you will be able to do the following:
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Explain the main parts of the human ear and how they contribute to our hearing.

The human ear has three main sections, which consist of the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. Sound waves enter your outer ear and travel through your ear canal to the middle ear. The ear canal channels the waves to your eardrum, a thin, sensitive membrane stretched tightly over the entrance to your middle ear. The waves cause your eardrum to vibrate. It passes these vibrations on to the hammer, one of three tiny bones in your ear. The hammer vibrating causes the anvil, the small bone touching the hammer, to vibrate. The anvil passes these vibrations to the stirrup, another small bone which touches the anvil. From the stirrup, the vibrations pass into the inner ear. The stirrup touches a liquid filled sack and the vibrations travel into the cochlea, which is shaped like a shell. Inside the cochlea, there are hundreds of special cells attached to nerve fibers, which can transmit information to the brain. The brain processes the information from the ear and lets us distinguish between different types of sounds.

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The Components of Sound

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THE COMPONENTS OF SOUND After reading this section you will be able to do the following:
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Explain what three things cause the differences in sounds. Discuss why some sounds are pleasing and others are not.

Why are sounds different? As you know, there are many different sounds. Fire alarms are loud, whispers are soft, sopranos sing high, tubas play low, every one of your friends has a different voice. The differences between sounds are caused by intensity, pitch, and tone. What is the difference between music and noise? Both music and noise are sounds, but how can we tell the difference? Some sounds, like construction work, are unpleasant. While others, such as your favorite band, are enjoyable to listen to. If this was the only way to tell the difference between noise and music, everyones opinion would be different. The sound of rain might be pleasant music to you, while the sound of your little brother practicing piano might be an unpleasant noise. To help classify sounds, there are three properties which a sound must have to be musical. A sound must have an identifiable pitch, a good or pleasing quality of tone, and repeating pattern or rhythm to be music. Noise on the other hand has no identifiable pitch, no pleasing tone, and no steady rhythm.

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Frequency and Pitch

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FREQUENCY AND PITCH After reading this section you will be able to do the following:
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Explain how you can change pitch by altering sources. Describe what resonance is.

Questions
1. What happens when you make the string shorter? Longer? Thicker?

Thinner? Tighter? Looser? 2. What happens when you make the string out of different material?

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Frequency and Pitch

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The Doppler Effect

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THE DOPPLER EFFECT After reading this section you will be able to do the following:
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Observe the experiment below and discuss why you hear a difference when an object is moving, but the sound itself is not changing.

Questions
1. If the noise the object makes is not changing, why do you hear a

change?

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Sound Wave Interference

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SOUND WAVE INTERFERENCE After reading this section you will be able to do the following:
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Explain what can happen to the energy of sound waves when the waves interact. Compare and contrast constructive interference and destructive interference. Explain what a critical angle is.

Questions
1. What is the difference in sound between the overlap area and the

single color area? 2. What is the difference in sound in the white area?

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Sound Wave Interference

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Refraction of Sound

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REFRACTION OF SOUND After reading this section you will be able to do the following:
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Define sound refraction and why it occurs. Describe what occurs when a sound wave reaches the critical angle.

Click on the experiment button below to open a Java applet. Make sure that your browser is set to allow you to see Java Applets.

Questions
1. What happens to sound traveling in one material when it enters

another material at an angle normal to surface between the two materials (90 degrees to the surface)? 2. What happens to sound traveling in one material when it enters another material at an angle other than normal to surface between the two materials? 3. What happens to the sound as the incident angle approaches being parallel to the surface?

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Reflection of Sound

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REFLECTION OF SOUND After reading this section you will be able to do the following:
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Observe the experiment below and explain why the wave reacts differently depending on what surface it hits. Discuss how echoes are made.

The Multi-Material Room

Questions
1. What happens when a sound wave hits a concave shaped surface? 2. Is the sound reflected back to the source from a concave shaped

surface more or less than that reflected from a flat surface? 3. What happens when a sound wave hits the porous surface? 4. What happens when a sound wave hits an irregular surface?

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Reflection of Sound

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Pulse-Echo Ultrasonic Test

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PULSE-ECHO ULTRASONIC TEST After reading this section you will be able to do the following:
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Explain what a pulse-echo ultrasonic test is measuring. In general terms, explain how a pulse-echo ultrasonic test is completed. Perform your own simulated pulse-echo ultrasonic test and be able to communicate what is happening.

Your Turn - Try this normal beam test A pulse-echo ultrasonic measurement can determine the location of a discontinuity with a part or structure by accurately measuring the time required for a short ultrasonic pulse generated by a transducer to travel through a thickness of the material. Then it reflects from the back or surface of a discontinuity and is returned to the transducer. The applet below allows you to move the transducer on the surface of a stainless steel test block and see the reflected echoes as the would appear on an oscilloscope.

What the graphs tell us? The ultrasonic tester graphs a peak of energy whenever the transducer receives a reflected wave. As you recall, sound is reflected any time a wave changes mediums. Thus, there will be a peak anytime the waves change mediums. Right when the initial pulse of energy is sent from the tester, some is reflected as the ultrasonic waves go from the transducer into the couplant. The first peak is therefore said to record the energy of the initial pulse. The next peak in a material with no defects is the backwall peak. This is the reflection from waves changing between the bottom of the test material and the material behind it, such as air or the table it is on. The backwall peak will not have as much energy as the first pulse, because some of the energy is absorbed by the test object and some into the material behind it. The amount of distance between peaks on the graph can be used to locate the defects. If the graph has 10 divisions and the test object is 2 inches thick, each division represents 0.2 inches. If a defect peak occurs at the 8th division, we know the defect is located 1.6 (0.2 x 8) inches into the test object.

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Pulse-Echo Ultrasonic Test

What if the thickness is unknown? If the thickness of the object is unknown, it can be calculated using the amount of time it takes for the backwall peak to occur. The thickness of the object is traveled twice in that time, once to the backwall and once returning to the transducer. If we know the speed of our sound, then we can calculate the distance it traveled, which is the thickness of the object times two. What happens when a defect is present? If a defect is present, it will reflect energy sooner also. Another peak would then appear from the defect. Since it reflected energy sooner than the back wall, the defect's energy would be received sooner. This causes the defect peak to appear before the backwall peak. Since some of the energy is absorbed and reflected by the defect, less will reach the backwall. Thus the peak of the backwall will be lower than if had there been no defect interrupting the sound wave. When the wave returns to the transducer, some of its energy bounces back into the test object and heads towards the back wall again. This second reflection will produce peaks similar to the first set of backwall peaks. Some of the energy, however, has been lost, so the height of all the peaks will be lower. These reflections, called multiples, will continue until all the sound energy has been absorbed or lost through transmission across the interfaces.

Review
1. A pulse-echo ultrasonic test can locate a discontinuity in a material. 2. During a pulse-echo ultrasonic test the time is measured to see how

long it takes a short ultrasonic pulse generated by a transducer to travel through a material, and then it is reflected from the back or surface of a discontinuity and is returned to the transducer.

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Ultrasound and Ultrasonic Testing

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ULTRASOUND AND ULTRASONIC TESTING After reading this section you will be able to do the following:
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Define the acronym "NDT." Explain how sound is used in NDT to find flaws. Explain how sound is used in NDT to measure material thickness.

Why is it important to understand sound? There are many uses for sound in the world today. We have already mentioned a few. Musicians can benefit from a greater understanding of sound, architects must understand sound to design effective auditoriums, detectives can use sound to identify people, and many new types of technology apply sound recognition. Another use of sound is in the area of science called Nondestructive testing, or NDT. What is NDT? Nondestructive testing is a method of finding defects in an object without harming the object. Often finding these defects is a very important task. In the aircraft industry, NDT is used to look for internal changes or signs of wear on airplanes. Discovering defects will increase the safety of the passengers. The railroad industry also uses nondestructive testing to examine railway rails for signs of damage. Internally cracked rails could fracture and derail a train carrying wheat, coal, or even people. If an airplane or a rail had to be cut into pieces to be examined, it would destroy their usefulness. With NDT, defects may be found before they become dangerous. How is ultrasound used in NDT? Sound with high frequencies, or ultrasound, is one method used in NDT. Basically, ultrasonic waves are emitted from a transducer into an object and the returning waves are analyzed. If an impurity or a crack is present, the sound will bounce off of them and be seen in the returned signal. In order to create ultrasonic waves, a transducer contains a thin disk made of a crystalline material with piezoelectric properties, such as quartz. When electricity is applied to piezoelectric materials, they begin to vibrate, using the electrical energy to create movement. Remember that waves travel in every direction from the source. To keep the waves from going backwards into the transducer and interfering with its reception of returning waves, an absorptive material is layered behind the crystal. Thus, the ultrasound waves only travel outward.

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Ultrasound and Ultrasonic Testing

One type of ultrasonic testing places the transducer in contact with the test object. If the transducer is placed flat on a surface to locate defects, the waves will go straight into the material, bounce off a flat back wall and return straight to the transducer. The animation on the right, developed by NDTA, Wellington, New Zealand, illustrates that sound waves propagate into a object being tested and reflected waves return from discontinuities along the sonic path. Some of the energy will be absorbed by the material, but some of it will return to the transducer. Ultrasonic measurements can be used to determine the thickness of materials and determine the location of a discontinuity within a part or structure by accurately measuring the time required for a ultrasonic pulse to travel through the material and reflect from the backsurface or the discontinuity. When the mechanical sound energy comes back to the transducer, it is converted into electrical energy. Just as the piezoelectric crystal converted electrical energy into sound energy, it can also do the reverse. The mechanical vibrations in the material couple to the piezoelectric crystal which, in turn, generates electrical current. Your Turn - Try this normal beam test A pulse-echo ultrasonic measurement can determine the location of a discontinuity with a part or structure by accurately measuring the time required for a short ultrasonic pulse generated by a transducer to travel through a thickness of the material. Then it reflects from the back or surface of a discontinuity and is returned to the transducer. The applet below allows you to move the transducer on the surface of a stainless steel test block and see the reflected echoes as the would appear on an oscilloscope.

What the graphs tell us? The ultrasonic tester graphs a peak of energy whenever the transducer receives a reflected wave. As you recall, sound is reflected any time a wave changes mediums. Thus, there will be a peak anytime the waves change mediums. Right when the initial pulse of energy is sent from the tester, some is reflected as the ultrasonic waves go from the transducer into the couplant. The first peak is therefore said to record the energy of the initial pulse. The next peak in a material with no defects is the backwall peak. This is the reflection from waves changing between the bottom of the test material and the material behind it, such as air or the table it is on. The backwall peak will not have as much energy as the first pulse, because some of the energy is absorbed by the test object and some into the material behind it. The amount of distance between peaks on the graph can be used to locate the
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Ultrasound and Ultrasonic Testing

defects. If the graph has 10 divisions and the test object is 2 inches thick, each division represents 0.2 inches. If a defect peak occurs at the 8th division, we know the defect is located 1.6 (0.2 x 8) inches into the test object. What if the thickness is unknown? If the thickness of the object is unknown, it can be calculated using the amount of time it takes for the back wall peak to occur. The thickness of the object is traveled twice in that time, once to the back wall and once returning to the transducer. If we know the speed of our sound, then we can calculate the distance it traveled, which is the thickness of the object times two. What happens when a defect is present? If a defect is present, it will reflect energy sooner also. Another peak would then appear from the defect. Since it reflected energy sooner than the back wall, the defect's energy would be received sooner. This causes the defect peak to appear before the backwall peak. Since some of the energy is absorbed and reflected by the defect, less will reach the backwall. Thus the peak of the backwall will be lower than had there been no defect interrupting the sound wave. When the wave returns to the transducer, some of its energy bounces back into the test object and heads towards the back wall again. This second reflection will produce peaks similar to the first set of backwall peaks. Some of the energy, however, has been lost, so the height of all the peaks will be lower. These reflections, called multiples, will continue until all the sound energy has been absorbed or lost through transmission across the interfaces.

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Angle Beam Testing

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ANGLE BEAM TESTING After reading this section you will be able to do the following:
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Explain why it is important to know about sound refraction and Snell's Law when performing an angle beam inspection. Explain what a shear wave is.

Often straight beam testing will not find a defect. For example, if the defect is vertical and thin enough, it will not reflect enough sound back to the transducer to let the tester know that it exists. In cases like this, another method of ultrasound testing must be used. The other method of ultrasound testing is angle beam testing. Angle beam testing uses an incidence of other than 90 degrees. In contact testing, an angled plastic block is place between the transducer and the object to create the desired angle. For angle beam testing in immersion systems, a plastic block is not needed because the transducer can simply be angled in the water. If the angle of incidence is changed to be anything other than 90 degrees, longitudinal waves and a second type of sound wave are produced. These other waves are called shear waves. Because the wave entered at an angle, it does not all travel directly through the material. Molecules in the test object are attracted to each other because solids have strong molecular bonds. The molecules carrying the sound are attracted to their surrounding molecules. Because of the angle, those sound carrying molecules get pulled by attracting forces in a direction perpendicular to the direction of the wave. This produces shear waves, or waves whose molecules travel perpendicular to the direction of the wave.

Angle beam testing and a change in the angle of incidence also creates further complications. Remember that when a wave hits a surface at an angle, it will be refracted, or bent, when it enters the new medium. Thus, the shear waves and the longitudinal waves will be refracted in the test object. The amount of refraction depends on the speed of sound in the two mediums between which the wave is traveling. Since the speed of shear waves is slower than the speed of longitudinal waves, their angles of refraction will be different. By using Snells law, we can calculate the angle of refraction if we know the speed of sound in our material.

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Angle Beam Testing

Review
1. An angle beam test cannot be performed unless the angle of

refraction is calculted using Snell's law, and the speed of sound must be known too. 2. Shear waves are produced when the angle of incidence is not 90 degrees.

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Immersion Ultrasonic Testing

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IMMERSION ULTRASONIC TESTING After reading this section you will be able to do the following:
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Explain what an immersion ultrasonic test is and why they are needed in NDT.

Another way to couple the sound from transducer to a test object is coupling the sound with water. This can be done with squirters where the sound travels through a jet of water or by immersing the transducer and test object in a tank of water. Both techniques are called immersion testing. In immersion testing, the transducer is placed in the water, above the test object, and a beam of sound is projected. The graph of peaks using the immersion method is slightly different. Between the initial pulse and the back wall peaks there will be an additional peak caused by the sound wave going from the water to the test material. This additional peak is called the front wall peak. The ultrasonic tester can be adjusted to ignore the initial pulse peak, so the first peak it will show is the front wall peak. Some energy is lost when the waves hit the test material, so the front wall peak is slightly lower than the peak of the initial pulse. Ultrasonic testing is an NDT test technique that interrogates components and structures to detect internal and surface breaking defects, and measures wall thickness on hard (typically metallic or ceramic) components and structures. How does ultrasonic testing work? Ultrasonic operates on the principle of injecting a very short pulse of ultrasound (typically between 0.1 MHz and 100 Mhz) into a component or structure, and then receiving and analyzing any reflected sound pulses. Conventionally, an operator scans a transducer over the surface of the component in such a way that he inspects all the area that is required to be tested by means of a scanning motion. The inspection relies on the training and integrity of the operator to ensure that he has inspected all that is necessary.

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Immersion Ultrasonic Testing

---------Sound pulses reflected from features within the component or structure are conventionally displayed on a screen. The operator also has to interpret these signals and report if the component or structure is defective or acceptable according to the test specification that he is given. Typical detection limits for fine grained steel structures or components (hand scanning) are single millimeter sized defects. Smaller defects can be detected by immersion testing and a programmed scan pattern with higher frequency ultrasound (slower testing). Detection limits are in the order of 0.1 to 0.2 mm, although smaller defects (typically 0.04mm diameter) can be detected under laboratory conditions.

Review
1. Immersion testing is completed with squirters where the sound

travels through a jet of water or by taking the transducer and test object and immersing them in a tank of water.

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