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Acoustic wave flow sensor using quartz thickness shear mode resonator

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4 Author(s)
L. Qin ; Dept. of Mech. Eng. & Mater. Sci., Univ. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA ; Z. Zeng ; H. Cheng ; Q. -M Wang

A quartz thickness shear mode (TSM) bulk acoustic wave resonator was used for in situ and real-time detection of liquid flow rate in this study. A special flow chamber made of 2 parallel acrylic plates was designed for flow measurement. The flow chamber has a rectangular flow channel, 2 flow reservoirs for stabilizing the fluid flow, a sensor mounting port for resonator holding, one inlet port, and one outlet port for pipe connection. A 5-MHz TSM quartz resonator was edge-bonded to the sensor mounting port with one side exposed to the flowing liquid and other side exposed to air. The electrical impedance spectra of the quartz resonator at different volumetric flow rate conditions were measured by an impedance analyzer for the extraction of the resonant frequency through a data-fitting method. The fundamental, 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th resonant frequency shifts were found to be around 920, 3572, 5947, 8228, and 10 300 Hz for flow rate variation from 0 to 3000 mL/min, which had a corresponding Reynolds number change from 0 to 822. The resonant frequency shifts of different modes are found to be quadratic with flow rate, which is attributed to the nonlinear effect of quartz resonator due to the effective normal pressure imposing on the resonator sensor by the flowing fluid. The results indicate that quartz TSM resonators can be used for flow sensors with characteristics of simplicity, fast response, and good repeatability.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control  (Volume:56 ,  Issue: 9 )