Ultrasound is defined by many as a process to see and view the fetus inside a female human or animal womb; but many doesn’t know, and is not even aware that there are types of ultrasounds, not just the ultrasound used by gynecologists and veterinarians. These types of ultrasounds are types based on its different applications and uses.
The idea and/or practice of ultrasound started as far back as the time of the great scientist, Pythagoras. Ultrasound uses mostly acoustics, or the science of sound. But the first attempted practice and technological application of ultrasound was dated 1917, by Paul Langevin. He used the technical application of ultrasound to hopefully detect icebergs.
But, what exactly is an ultrasound? Ultrasound is a sound pressure wave with a frequency above and greater than most humans can stand or hear; the sound wave that ultrasounds make is on the upper limit of the human hearing range. We have this common perception that ultrasounds focuses on the visual science, because the most common type of ultrasound lets us see through our bellies, but the truth is that all types of ultrasounds uses sounds as its medium. The application of ultrasound is called ultrasonics.
The animal kingdom isn’t ignorant about the existence and practice of ultrasound. Animals, such as bats and porpoises use ultrasounds to find and locate its prey in the wilderness; bats also practice ultrasound to navigate in the night. Insects like lacewings, beetles, praying mantises and moths – the common prey of bats and porpoises – have great ultrasonic hearing capabilities. Once they sense and hear that a bat and/or a porpoise start using ultrasound to locate its prey, these insects uses their capabilities to flee, evade and avoid being caught and be a bat meal. Canines also have the ability to hear ultrasonic sound waves. Whales and dolphins also apply ultrasonics to detect their prey in the vast and deep sea. Many types of fish are oriented to be able to hear certain types of ultrasounds.
One type of ultrasound is the motion sensor and flow measurement. We normally see this type of ultrasound in automatic doors. Doors using motion sensors can sense when a person is approaching and automatically opens for him. Flow measurement is used in the study of rheology and fluid mechanics.
Another is the non-destructive testing. Non-destructive testing can also be called Macrosonic and/or Ultrasonic testing. This type of ultrasound is used to find imperfections and flaws in materials and is also used to measure thickness. The third type of ultrasound is the ultrasonic range finding, commonly known as Sonar. Sonar is a common application of ultrasound, using ultrasonic sound waves in underwater range finding. Underwater sonar uses pulse to detect blocks and things in the path.
Next type is the ultrasonography or imaging. The most common uses of ultrasonography are industrial non-destructive testing, quality control and medical uses. Ultrasonography is practiced when we accompany our mothers to the gynecologists to check on the baby inside the womb; and on veterinarian evaluation.
A type of ultrasound based on its application is the biomedical or therapeutical applications which are used and essential for dosage precautions. The next type is the ultrasonic impact treatment or UIT. UIT is used to improve the qualities of metals, mechanically and physically. UIT is a metallurgical ultrasonic procedure in which they use the power of ultrasounds to enhance the properties of a certain metal. Another type of ultrasound based on its application is the ultrasonic cleaning. Jewelries, dental, surgical and industrial instruments, lenses and other optical devices use ultrasonic cleansers. This type of ultrasound is powered mostly by the energy that millions of microscopic cavitations release near the dirty area.
The fourth type of ultrasound based on its application is the ultrasonic humidifier. A type of nebulizer commonly used in foggers. The fifth type is the ultrasonic welding. Ultrasonic welding is practiced by melting plastics to weld things together. Another type is the sonochemistry, a type of ultrasound commonly used in chemistry. Sonochemistry uses ultrasound to induce chemical change and also in extraction using different frequencies. Ultrasound is also used for weaponry, such as riot control and lethal levels of sound.
Ultrasounds, on the whole, isn’t just used on the medical field, but also used to detect range and measure distances; for industrial inspection and cleaning; to accelerate chemical processes in the field of chemistry; weaponry and also used by nature and animals to survive.