Novosound Ltd, the winner of the 2017 Converge Challenge, has developed and patented a ground-breaking technique to mass-manufacture printable ultrasound sensors. The revolutionary method overcomes the limitations of existing technology, improving a manufacturing process which hasn’t majorly changed in over 40 years.
Commonly known for its use in maternity wards and other hospital departments, ultrasound imaging can also be extensively applied in industrial settings as a safe non-destructive testing (NDT) technique.
In the oil and gas industry, for example, Novosound’s new, low-cost, “fit-and-forget” sensors will be fixed along a pipeline to detect potential cracks and faults before they become critical; a problem that has been well-publicised recently for companies in the sector.
These sensors can operate at very high temperatures (above 250 °C) meaning that, in nuclear power stations and petrochemical refineries, crucial inspection of critical infrastructure can be carried out without the need to cool down pipes – a setback that currently costs the industry billions of dollars per year.