Recently I have done ultrasonic testing in an industrial laboratory in the Netherlands. As I wanted to try out many different materials, I decided to use a handheld device. On the pictures you can see some ‘sonotronics’; metal stamps that are used either to cut or to emboss synthetic materials.
A generator generates a vibration that is on the border of what men can hear. A ‘hand gun’ is connected to the generator and a sonotronic is screwed on top of the gun. The intensity of the vibration can be adjusted, as every material reacts differently to the sound. Due to the vibration, molecules in the textile heat up and melt together – at least when using synthetic materials. When the sonotronic has a sharp edge, the material will be cut, with a very slick edge that will not fray. When the sonotronic has a blunt edge, or a relief, the material can be embossed. I am very excited by the idea that materials can be glued together, just by sound and pressure. No chemicals are needed, which is better for environment and easier for recycling the material at the end of it’s life cycle.
Ultrasonics are already being used in many types of industry, including the non-woven production, clothing and food industry. I am quite convinced we will see more and more applications in many areas.