Standard Active Last Updated: Jun 19, 2018
ASTM C1332-18

Standard Practice for Measurement of Ultrasonic Attenuation Coefficients of Advanced Ceramics by Pulse-Echo Contact Technique

Significance and Use

5.1 This practice is useful for characterizing material microstructure or measuring variations in microstructure that occur because of material processing conditions and thermal, mechanical, or chemical exposure (3). When applied to monolithic or composite ceramics, the procedure should reveal microstructural gradients due to density, porosity, and grain variations. This practice may also be applied to polycrystalline metals to assess variations in grain size, porosity, and multiphase constituents.

5.2 This practice is useful for measuring and comparing microstructural variations among different samples of the same material or for sensing and measuring subtle microstructural variations within a given sample.

5.3 This practice is useful for mapping variations in the attenuation coefficient and the attenuation spectrum as they pertain to variations in the microstructure and associated properties of monolithic ceramics, ceramic composites and metals.

5.4 This practice is useful for establishing a reference database for comparing materials and for calibrating ultrasonic attenuation measurement equipment.

5.5 This practice is not recommended for highly attenuating monolithics or composites that are thick, highly porous, or that have rough or highly textured surfaces. For these materials Practice E664/E664M may be appropriate. Guide E1495/E1495M is recommended for assessing attenuation differences among composite plates and laminates that may exhibit, for example, pervasive matrix porosity or matrix crazing in addition to having complex fiber architectures or thermomechanical degradation (3). The proposed ASTM Standard Practice for Measuring Ultrasonic Velocity in Advanced Ceramics (C1331) is recommended for characterizing monolithic ceramics with significant porosity or porosity variations (4).


1.1 This practice describes a procedure for measurement of ultrasonic attenuation coefficients for advanced structural ceramic materials. The procedure is based on a broadband buffered piezoelectric probe used in the pulse-echo contact mode and emitting either longitudinal or shear waves. The primary objective of this practice is materials characterization.

1.2 The procedure requires coupling an ultrasonic probe to the surface of a plate-like sample and the recovery of successive front surface and back surface echoes (refer to Fig. 3). Power spectra of the echoes are used to calculate the attenuation spectrum (attenuation coefficient as a function of ultrasonic frequency) for the sample material. The transducer bandwidth and spectral response are selected to cover a range of frequencies and corresponding wavelengths that interact with microstructural features of interest in solid test samples.

1.3 The purpose of this practice is to establish fundamental procedures for measurement of ultrasonic attenuation coefficients. These measurements should distinguish and quantify microstructural differences among solid samples and therefore help establish a reference database for comparing materials and calibrating ultrasonic attenuation measurement equipment.

1.4 This practice applies to monolithic ceramics and also polycrystalline metals. This practice may be applied to whisker reinforced ceramics, particulate toughened ceramics, and ceramic composites provided that similar constraints on sample size, shape, and finish are met as described herein for monolithic ceramics.

1.5 This practice sets forth the constraints on sample size, shape, and finish that will assure valid attenuation coefficient measurements. This practice also describes the instrumentation, methods, and data processing procedures for accomplishing the measurements.

1.6 This practice is not recommended for highly attenuating materials such as very thick, very porous, rough-surfaced monolithics or composites. This practice is not recommended for highly nonuniform, heterogeneous, cracked, defective, or otherwise flaw-ridden samples that are unrepresentative of the nature or inherent characteristics of the material under examination.

1.7 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.8 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 03.03
Developed by Subcommittee: E07.06
Pages: 12
DOI: 10.1520/C1332-18
ICS Code: 81.060.30