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Long-term Stability of the NIST Conical Reference Transducer



Steven E. Fick, Thomas M. Proctor


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Conical Reference Transducer (CRT) is designed for purposes which require frequency response characteristics much more uniform than those attainable with ultrasonic transducers conventionally used for acoustic emission (AE) nondestructive testing. The high performance of the CRT results from the use of design elements radically different from those of conventional transducers. The CRT was offered for sale for 15 years (1985 to 2000). Each CRT was furnished with data which expressed, as a function of frequency, the transducer sensitivity in volts per micrometer of normal displacement on the test block. Of the 22 transducers constructed, 8 were reserved for long term research, and were stored undisturbed in a laboratory with well controlled temperature and humidity. In 2009, the sensitivities of these 8 units were redetermined. The 2009 data have been compared with data from similar tests conducted in 1985. The results of this comparison verify the claim, “Results of tests of the long term stability of CRT characteristics indicate that, if proper care is taken, tens of years of service can reasonably be expected.” made in the CRT specifications document furnished to prospective customers.
Journal of Research (NIST JRES) -


acoustic emission, long term stability, PZT, reference transducer, transfer standard


Fick, S. and Proctor, T. (2011), Long-term Stability of the NIST Conical Reference Transducer, Journal of Research (NIST JRES), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 23, 2024)


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Created December 22, 2011, Updated February 19, 2017