Technology often features many different components which support some crucial functions. A good example would be crystals, which are critical in the functions of various technological devices. Most of these devices are everyday products, and not many people know how such tools use crystals.
The crystals produce piezoelectric power, which often changes easily into other forms such as sound. Below are some technological tools and the ways they use crystals to support their functions:
1. Sonar Technology
Sonar technologies use piezoelectric crystals because it provides excellent sensitivity levels for transducers in underwater systems. It’s a component that helps improve the performance of these sonar systems during location mapping.
The sonar systems work by creating pressure, and this comes from the piezoelectric power produced from the crystals. When the crystals in a sonar system experience pressure, they produce a voltage, which changes to a wave.
Once the system produces electricity, the crystal transducer will convert the power to a sound wave. It then releases the sound wave throughout the water and then works to detect any reflections. The process involves measuring the change in voltage levels, which experts can use to determine objects in the surrounding area.
The sonar systems that utilize these crystals experience improved performance and efficiency in the form of reduced power consumption.
These crystals tend to be affordable and durable, making them ideal for producing a large amount of electricity. A good example would be the lithium tri-borate (LBO) crystals made by Gamdan.
2. Ultrasound Machines
An ultrasound machine also features specialized crystals that support different functions. A transducer probe is the main component in an ultrasound machine. The transducer often features a piezoelectric crystal that can produce sound waves and also manage the echoes produced.
The transducer probe in ultrasound machines uses the piezoelectric effect. The traditional ultrasound probe features piezoelectric crystals, which can accommodate an electric current. When the current passes through these crystals, their shapes change rapidly.
Some ultrasound machines come with several transducers, which also sit at the front section of the transducer. These transducers connect to the crystals through electrodes, which have opposite electrical charges.
These changes in the form of the crystals will create a sound that moves in an outward manner. The crystals will produce electric current upon exposure to the pressure produced from the sound.
These properties make the crystals suitable for sending and receiving sound waves. The ultrasound probes also feature a component that can absorb the sound, which reduces any reflections.
The probes used in transducers often feature different-sized crystals. These variations in size are a clear indicator of their sound management capacity. Ultrasound machines that feature several specialized probes have dedicated electrical circuits.
3. Piezoelectric Microphones
A crystal microphone features a piezoelectric crystal that functions as the central transducer and sits in the transducer. It’s a microphone that comes with a compact strip of piezoelectric material on the diaphragm section.
While piezoelectric microphones were popular in the past, they are still common today. The main reasons for their popularity today are their simplicity, affordability, and ease of use.
Either side of the crystal can absorb an electrical charge when the crystal bounces from the diaphragm. The charges have the same impact as the deformation that occurs during this process, and they stop when the stress on the crystal ceases.
Before crystal components, people used materials such as Rochelle salt because it provided a high output. However, it was not durable, and manufacturers replaced it later with piezo crystals. These microphones might produce a high electric output but are not as powerful as the dynamic types.
Crystal and ceramic microphones refer to the same device as they both feature piezo electrical systems. Thus, this makes them a common component in sound production systems. Usually, crystal microphones are affordable units that provide a high voltage output and impedance level. These microphones are suitable for general sound production and management needs.
Crystals play an essential role in technological devices such as sonar technology, Ultrasound machines, and even microphones.