SIGNUS researches the use of recycled tyre powder in ultrasound equipment
SIGNUS Ecovalor, the leading Spanish non-profit organisation responsible for guaranteeing the correct environmental management of tyres, in collaboration with the CSIC‘s Institute of Physical and Information Technologies, has developed a project in which recycled tyre rubber powder has been used in the manufacture of composite materials for acoustic transducers for application, for example, in medical ultrasound or sound navigation.
The ultrasound technique has various uses in everyday life, from medical diagnostic applications like ultrasound or medical treatment such as lithotripsy, used for example to break kidney stones, to industrial applications for non-destructive testing, especially in aeronautics, aerospace and energy.
It is also used in underwater sound propagation techniques mainly to navigate, communicate or detect submerged objects (Sonar technique). Or even in other applications such as robotics (distance sensors, artificial vision), food (quality control), Internet of Things (IoT), or consumer electronics.
There is a wide variety of materials used in the different types of ultrasound transducers. With the aim of using recycled and sustainable materials, it is proposed to use rubber powder from tyres as an additive in the manufacture of said transducers.
The results of this project have shown that the inclusion of tyre rubber powder in these composite materials allows the adaptation of several functionalities for the design of new transducers for ultrasound equipment, presenting advantages of greater flexibility and measurement control, among others.