Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here follows a selection of questions we are often asked.

See our Applications Overview and Client Data pages

  • R&D: use the Elastic Constants module to measure the Young's modulus, shear modulus, Poisson's ratio and/or sound and shear velocities of a variety of elastic materials such as ceramics, metals, and composites nondestructively. Additionally, organic materials such as wood and rubber and various coatings, such as plasma-sprayed, flame sprayed, and HVOF, can be tested. Damping properties, internal friction (Q-1), can also be measured.

  • QA/QC: use the QC Module of Buzz-o-sonic to create control charts and histograms based on resonant frequency, internal friction (Q-1), Young's modulus, and sound velocity. Control charts can be used for quality inspection.

Screen shot of the QC module. Buzz-o-sonic can be used to establish correlations between strength, porosity or bulk density and Young's modulus (or shear modulus) or a characteristic resonant frequency (flexural, torsional...).

Yes!. Some defects show as frequency shifts, additional peaks or peak splitting in the power spectra compared to a good sample, and/or an increase in internal friction (Q-1). Some testing and comparisons of good and bad parts are usually required.

Poor parts often have a lower than expected Young's modulus or sound velocity. For example, the sonic velocity (longitudinal sound velocity) of refractory brick was used to identify weak parts as measured by the cold crushing strength (CCS). Eventually, the sonic velocity as measured by Buzz-o-sonic was used to replace CCS.

In another example, the torsional frequencies of ceramic foam filters gave a much better correlation to strength than their relative densities, and so the mean strength of the filters was increased by removing those filters with a low torsional frequency. This was a much more reliable method of increasing mean strength than removing filters based on their low densities.

It depends on the shape and elastic properties of the material, but we have tested materials from millimeters to meters. If you know roughly what the Young's modulus of the material is, contact us and we can determine the sizes measurable by Buzz-o-sonic. The thinnest sample tested so far (300 µ) is a ZrO2 electrolyte used in a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC). We can also custom design systems to meet your needs by using, for example, high frequency microphones or laser vibrometers to measure smaller or stiffer samples.

Yes. Below is an example of a green ceramic being monitored by Buzz-o-sonic during firing to 1100°C.

We can perform off-site or on-site tests. Contact us for more details.

Yes! Don't take our word for it. Take the word of a world-class independent research laboratory - the High Temperature Materials Laboratory at Oak Ridge Nation Laboratories (ORNL). Researchers there tested and compared Buzz-o-sonic to three other techniques for measuring the Young's and shear moduli of several different materials. Here is an abstract from a paper they wrote1:

  • Four different experimental techniques, namely resonant ultrasound spectroscopy (RUS), impulse excitation (IE), nanoindentation (NI) and four-point bending (4PB) test were used to determine the Young's and shear moduli of 99.9% pure Al2O3, 7075 aluminum, 4140 steel and Pyrex glass. The results from the different tests are compared and statistically analyzed to determine the precision of each method and to estimate the significance of the differences among the four techniques. It was found that dynamic methods (RUS and IE) have superior precision and repeatability when compared to NI and 4PB for all four tested materials. It was also found that the differences between results of RUS and IE are not statistically significant, and that NI can be equally successfully used for determining Young's modulus of well-prepared, microstructurally homogenous and relatively hard materials. 4PB was found to have the lowest precision and repeatability among the four test methods.

Reprinted from Materials Science and Engineering A, Volume 368, Issues 1-2, 15 March 2004, E. Lara-Curzio, M. Radovic, and L. Riester, "Comparison of Different Experimental Techniques for Determination of Elastic Properties of Solids," Pages 56-70.

Materials Science and Engineering can be visited on line here.

Note: Buzz-o-sonic was used to perform the impulse-excitation technique (IET) referenced in the above paper.

Yes! We provide high temperature systems, kits, or we can do the testing.

Yes! We provide cryogenic systems.

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