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1. WO2010010317 - ULTRASONIC INSPECTION DEVICE WITH SOLID COUPLING ELEMENT

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[ EN ]

Claims

1. An ultrasonic scanner for scanning a workpiece comprising: an ultrasound transducer, a solid coupling component defining a transducer contact surface for contact with the transducer and a workpiece contact surface for contact with a workpiece to be scanned, in which the solid coupling component at least partially surrounds the transducer to locate the transducer relative to the workpiece contact surface.

2. An ultrasonic scanner according to claim 1 in which the transducer contact surface and the workpiece contact surface are substantially planar and substantially parallel.

3. An ultrasonic scanner according to claim 2 in which the transducer is an ultrasound array defining an array line, which array line is parallel to the transducer contact surface and the workpiece contact surface.

4. An ultrasonic scanner according to any preceding claim in which the transducer is slidable within the coupling component for insertion and removal.

5. An ultrasonic scanner according to claim 4 in which the transducer defines a substantially prismatic outer surface and the coupling component defines a corresponding orifice to receive the transducer.

6. An ultrasonic scanner according to claim 5 in which the transducer comprises a polygonal cross section.

7. An ultrasonic scanner according to any preceding claim comprising a layer of low friction material at least partially covering the workpiece contact surface with a coefficient of friction less than 0.5.

8. An ultrasonic scanner according to claim 7 in which the low friction material has a coefficient of friction of approximately 0.1.

9. An ultrasonic scanner according to claim 8 in which the low friction material is polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).

10. An ultrasonic scanner according to any of claims 7 to 9 in which the low friction material is in the form of an adhesive tape.

11. An ultrasonic scanner according to any of claims 7 to 9 in which the low friction material is in the form of a sheath around at least a part of the coupling component.

12. An ultrasonic scanner according to any preceding claim further comprising a housing to which the coupling component is mounted, the housing defining a surface for gripping by a user in use.

13. An ultrasonic scanner according to any preceding claim further comprising a first encoder mounted to the scanner to contact a workpiece and determine distance travelled relative thereto in use.

14. An ultrasonic scanner according to claim 13 further comprising a further encoder substantially similar to the first encoder and mounted on a side of the scanner opposite to the first encoder.

15. An ultrasonic scanner according to any of claims 13 or 14 in which the first encoder and / or the further encoder are resiliency mounted to the scanner to resile towards a workpiece.

16. An ultrasonic scanner according to any preceding claim comprising a locating arrangement to engage a workpiece and retain the scanner in an orientation relative thereto.

17. An ultrasonic scanner according to claim 16 in which the locating arrangement comprises a first roller positioned substantially opposite the workpiece contact surface, the first roller being movably mounted to the scanner and resiliently mounted towards the workpiece contact surface to grip a flat section of a workpiece between the first roller and the workpiece contact surface.

18. An ultrasonic scanner according to claim 17 comprising a second roller positioned opposite the first roller and mounted to the scanner to contact the workpiece on the same side as the workpiece contact surface.

19. An ultrasonic scanner according to claim 18 comprising a third roller positioned opposite the first roller and mounted to the scanner to contact the workpiece on the same side as the workpiece contact surface, the third roller being positioned on an opposite side of the scanner to the second roller.

20. A coupling component for an ultrasonic scanner comprising a body constructed from an elastomeric polymer and comprising a layer of low friction material at least partially covering the body to form a workpiece contact surface with a coefficient of friction less than 0.5.

21. A coupling component for an ultrasonic scanner according to claim 20 in which the low friction material has a coefficient of friction of approximately 0.1.

22. A coupling component for an ultrasonic scanner according to claim 21 in which the low friction material is polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).

23. A coupling component for an ultrasonic scanner according to any of claims 20 to 22 in which the low friction material is in the form of an adhesive tape.

24. A coupling component for an ultrasonic scanner according to any of claims 20 to 22 in which the low friction material is in the form of a sheath around at least a part of the coupling component.

25. A coupling component for an ultrasonic scanner according to any of claims 20 to 24 in which the low friction material layer has a thickness of 0.05 to 0.2mm