PVT Degradation Studies: Acoustic Diagnostics


Under certain environmental conditions, polyvinyl toluene (PVT) plastic scintillator has been observed to undergo internal fogging. This document reports on a study of acoustic techniques to determine whether they can provide a diagnostic for the fogging of PVT. Different ultrasound techniques were employed for detecting the level of internal fogging in PVT, including wave velocity measurements, attenuation, nonlinear acoustics, and acoustic microscopy. The results indicate that there are linear relations between the wave velocity and wave attenuation with the level of internal fogging. The effects of fogging on ultrasound wave attenuation is further verified by acoustic microscopy imaging, where regions with fog in the specimen demonstration higher levels of attenuation compared to clear regions. Results from the nonlinear ultrasound measurements were inconclusive due to high sensitivities to transducer coupling and fixture variabilities.