Woods, D., Bolton, J., Rhoads, J., “Enhanced acoustic transmission into dissipative solid materials through the use of inhomogeneous plane waves”, Journal of Physics, Conference Series 744, 2016. https://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/744/1/012188
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A number of applications, for instance ultrasonic imaging and nondestructive testing, involve the transmission of acoustic energy across fluid–solid interfaces into dissipative solids. However, such transmission is generally hindered by the large impedance mismatch at the interface. In order to address this problem, inhomogeneous plane waves were investigated in this work for the purpose of improving the acoustic energy transmission. To this end, under the assumption of linear hysteretic damping, models for fluid–structure interaction were developed that allow for both homogeneous and inhomogeneous incident waves. For low-loss solids, the results reveal that, at the Rayleigh angle, a unique value of the wave inhomogeneity can be found which minimizes the reflection coefficient, and consequently maximizes the transmission. The results also reveal that with sufficient dissipation levels in the solid material, homogeneous incident waves yield lower reflection values than inhomogeneous waves, due to the large degrees of inhomogeneity inherent in the transmitted waves. Analytical conditions have also been derived which predict the dependence of the optimal incident wave type on the dissipation level and wave speeds in the solid medium. Finally, implications related to the use of acoustic beams of limited spatial extent are discussed.