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Publication Detail
The effect of curing temperature and time on the acoustic and optical properties of PVCP
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Bakaric M, Miloro P, Zeqiri B, Cox BT, Treeby BE
  • Publisher:
    Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control
  • Status:
    Published online
  • Country:
    United States
  • Print ISSN:
  • Language:
Polyvinyl chloride plastisol (PVCP) has been increasingly used as a phantom material for photoacoustic and ultrasound imaging. As one of the most useful polymeric materials for industrial applications, its mechanical properties and behaviour are well-known. Although the acoustic and optical properties of several formulations have previously been investigated, it is still unknown how these are affected by varying the fabrication method. Here, an improved and straightforward fabrication method is presented and the effect of curing temperature and curing time on PVCP acoustic and optical properties, as well as their stability over time, is investigated. Speed of sound and attenuation were determined over a frequency range from 2 to 15 MHz, while the optical attenuation spectra of samples was measured over a wavelength range from 500 to 2200 nm. Results indicate that the optimum properties are achieved at curing temperatures between 160 °C and 180 °C, while the required curing time decreases with increasing temperature. The properties of the fabricated phantoms were highly repeatable, meaning the phantoms are not sensitive to the manufacturing conditions provided the curing temperature and time are within the range of complete gelation-fusion (samples are optically clear) and below the limit of thermal degradation (indicated by the yellowish appearance of the sample). The samples' long term stability was assessed over 16 weeks and no significant change was observed in the measured acoustic and optical properties.
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