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1. WO2021040540 - DISPOSITIFS D'ANALYSE D'UN FLUIDE

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

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CLAIMS

1. An ultrasonic transducer including:

a piezoelectric element, wherein the piezoelectric element has an acoustic impedance of between 15 to 22 MRayls;

a fluid medium contact layer, wherein the fluid medium contact layer is a polymer layer;

a matching layer between the piezoelectric element and the fluid medium contact layer, wherein the matching layer has an acoustic impedance of between 4 to 10 MRayls; and

a backing layer, wherein the backing layer has an acoustic impedance of between 15 to 20

MRayls.

2. The ultrasonic transducer of claim 1, wherein the piezoelectric element is a lead metaniobate piezoelectric element.

3. The ultrasonic transducer of claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the polymer layer is polysulfone.

4. The ultrasonic transducer of claims 1 to 3, wherein the thickness of the fluid medium contact layer is configured to delay reflections of an acoustic signal from an interface between the fluid medium contact layer and a fluid in contact with the fluid medium contact layer by a predetermined number of wavelengths, or part wavelengths, of the acoustic signal.

5. The ultrasonic transducer of claim 4, wherein the thickness of the fluid medium contact layer is greater than two wavelengths of the acoustic signal.

6. The ultrasonic transducer of claims 1 to 5, wherein the matching layer is a hydrocarbon ceramic laminate layer.

7. The ultrasonic transducer of claims 1 to 6, wherein the matching layer has an acoustic impedance of between 5 to 8 MRayls.

8. The ultrasonic transducer of claims 1 to 7, wherein the thickness of the matching layer is configured to provide quarter wave matching with the acoustic signal.

9. The ultrasonic transducer of claim 8, wherein the thickness of the matching layer is between 0.2 to 0.3 wavelengths of the acoustic signal at the centre frequency of the ultrasonic transducer.

10. The ultrasonic transducer of claims 1 to 9, wherein the matching layer is a circuit board layer.

11. The ultrasonic transducer of claim 10, wherein the circuit board layer provides electrical connections to the piezoelectric element.

12. The ultrasonic transducer of claims 1 to 11, wherein the backing layer has an acoustic impedance substantially that of the piezoelectric element.

13. The ultrasonic transducer of claims 1 to 12, wherein the backing layer is a tungsten composite layer.

14. The ultrasonic transducer of claim 13, wherein the tungsten composite of the tungsten composite layer includes first tungsten particles of a first size, and second tungsten particles of a second size.

15. The ultrasonic transducer of claim 14, wherein the first tungsten particles are a granulated tungsten powder, and the second tungsten particles are a fine tungsten powder.

16. The ultrasonic transducer of claim 14 or claim 15, wherein a ratio of granulated tungsten powder to fine tungsten powder in the tungsten composite is about 56:7.

17. The ultrasonic transducer of claims 14 to 16, wherein the backing layer comprises a graduation in density of the first tungsten particles and the second tungsten particles.

18. The ultrasonic transducer of claims 1 to 17, wherein the ultrasonic transducer has a centre frequency of between 1 to 10 MHz.

19. The ultrasonic transducer of claim 1618 wherein the centre frequency is between 3 to 5 MHz.

20. The ultrasonic transducer of claim 19, wherein the centre frequency is between 3.5 to 4 MHz.

21. The ultrasonic transducer of claim 20, wherein the centre frequency is about 3.75 MHz.

22. The ultrasonic transducer of claims 1 to 21, wherein the ultrasonic transducer has a -6dB percentage bandwidth greater than 60%.

23. The ultrasonic transducer of claim 22, wherein the -6dB percentage bandwidth is between 60% to 100%.

24. The ultrasonic transducer of claim 23, wherein the -6dB bandwidth is between 2 to 3 MHz.

25. The ultrasonic transducer of claims 1 to 24, including a housing having a main body, wherein a portion of the main body provides the fluid medium contact layer.

26. The ultrasonic transducer of claim 25, wherein the main body includes a projection through which an acoustic pathway of the ultrasonic transducer passes.

27. The ultrasonic transducer of claims 25 or claim 26 including a piezoelectric assembly including the piezoelectric element and the matching layer.

28. The ultrasonic transducer of claim 27, wherein the piezoelectric assembly includes an element holder having an aperture in which the piezoelectric element is located.

29. The ultrasonic transducer of claim 28, wherein the element holder is made of a circuit board material.

30. The ultrasonic transducer of claim 28 or claim 29, wherein the matching layer spans the aperture of the element holder.

31. The ultrasonic transducer of claim 30, wherein the piezoelectric assembly includes an electrical contact on an opposing side of the piezoelectric element from the matching layer.

32. The ultrasonic transducer of claims 27 to 31, wherein the main body includes a slotted portion configured to receive the piezoelectric assembly, and

wherein the ultrasonic transducer further includes a cap configured to be secured to the main body to hold the piezoelectric assembly in place within the slotted portion.

33. An ultrasound sensor device, including:

an elongate hollow body configured to receive a fluid to be analysed;

a first ultrasound transducer as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 32, provided at a first end of the hollow body; and

a second ultrasound transducer as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 32, provided at a second end of the hollow body and facing the first ultrasound transducer.

34. The ultrasound sensor device of claim 33, wherein the hollow body is made of a metal.

35. The ultrasound sensor device of claim 33 or claim 34, wherein a length of the respective fluid medium contact layers of the first ultrasound transducer and the first ultrasound transducer is less than 15% of the overall path length.

36. The ultrasound sensor device of claims 33 to 35, wherein a path length between the respective piezoelectric elements of the first ultrasound transducer and the second ultrasound transducer is greater than about 25 mm.

37. The ultrasound sensor device of claim 36, wherein the path length is between 25 mm to 100 mm.

38. The ultrasound sensor device of claim 36 or claim 37, wherein the path length is about 70 mm.

39. An ultrasound sensor device, including:

a hollow body having an acoustically reflective surface and being configured to receive a fluid to be analysed, and

a first ultrasound transducer as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 32, wherein the first ultrasound transducer faces the acoustically reflective surface.

40. The ultrasound sensor device of claim 39, wherein the hollow body is made of a metal.

41. The ultrasound sensor device of claim 39 or claim 40, wherein a total return path length between the piezoelectric element of the first ultrasound transducer and the acoustically reflective surface is greater than about 25 mm.

42. The ultrasound sensor device of claim 41, wherein the total return path length is between 25 mm to 100 mm.

43. The ultrasound sensor device of claim 41 or claim 42, wherein the total return path length is about 70 mm.

44. A system for analysing a fluid, including:

a ultrasound sensor device as claimed in any one of claims 33 to 43.

a sample delivery device configured to deliver a sample of fluid from a fluid carrying and/or storing system to the ultrasound sensor device; and

at least one processor configured to determine a characteristic of the sample of fluid based at least in part on a signal output from the ultrasound sensor device.

45. The system of claim 44, wherein the fluid is a liquid or a solution including a liquid.

46. The system of claim 44 or claim 45, wherein the fluid is milk.