When deciding about using a piezoelectric or ultrasonic device, the first consideration should always be the application. Sound propagates well through solids and liquids but not so well though gasses. Oftentimes, other modalities such as lasers or radio waves can better perform a specific task. If you’re not sure about the effects of environmental conditions or other constraints, just ask! We’ll be happy to suggest something other than our products if they would be a better fit for you.

If it looks like ultrasound may be the way to go, think about these kinds of questions:

1. Temperature. What range of temperatures will the device see, both during use and during quiescent periods. Sonic and ultrasonic devices can generally be used from cryogenic temperatures up to over 600 C.

2. Chemical environment. With the proper housings and sealing, transducers can be used in a very wide range of environments ranging from water to acids, bases, even molten metals. They can typically be used in flammable or explosive atmospheres.

3. Pressure. Transducers can be fabricated to withstand very high pressures (over 20,000 psi in some downhole oil and gas applications) and are normally resistant to vacuum conditions.

4. External mechanical stresses. Transducers can be designed which withstand severe impact shock and long-term abrasive abuse.

5. Size or configuration limits. Are there any size or shape limitations for the application?

6. Electrical considerations. Are there any voltage or current limits? Is there a required bandwidth?