Measuring mass density and ultrasonic wave velocity: A wavelet-based method applied in ultrasonic reflection mode

  • Metwally Khaled
  • Lefevre Emmanuelle
  • Baron Cécile
  • Zheng Rui
  • Pithioux Martine
  • Lasaygues Philippe

  • Coded excitation
  • Wavelet processing
  • Ultrasonic characterization
  • Reflection mode


When assessing ultrasonic measurements of material parameters, the signal processing is an important part of the inverse problem. Measurements of thickness, ultrasonic wave velocity and mass density are required for such assessments. This study investigates the feasibility and the robustness of a wavelet-based processing (WBP) method based on a Jaffard–Meyer algorithm for calculating these parameters simultaneously and independently, using one single ultrasonic signal in the reflection mode. The appropriate transmitted incident wave, correlated with the mathematical properties of the wavelet decomposition, was determined using a adapted identification procedure to build a mathematically equivalent model for the electro-acoustic system. The method was tested on three groups of samples (polyurethane resin, bone and wood) using one 1-MHz transducer. For thickness and velocity measurements, the WBP method gave a relative error lower than 1.5%. The relative errors in the mass density measurements ranged between 0.70% and 2.59%. Despite discrepancies between manufactured and biological samples, the results obtained on the three groups of samples using the WBP method in the reflection mode were remarkably consistent, indicating that it is a reliable and efficient means of simultaneously assessing the thickness and the velocity of the ultrasonic wave propagating in the medium, and the apparent mass density of material.