Fred G. Geil
Linda L. Matteson
Westinghouse Electric Corp., Oceanic Div., Annapolis, MD 21404
Piezorubber is a composite material consisting of lead titanate powder dispersed in a neoprene rubber matrix. Piezorubber has certain acoustic properties that sets this transduction material apart from the traditional ceramics. Among these are some good qualities such as a high hydrostatic sensitivity, a relatively low lateral sensitivity, high resistance to shock, and conformability. Some less attractive qualities are the low dielectric constant and high density. Nevertheless, piezorubber has been the material of choice for several US Navy projects. These include a hydrophone flank array for ASW, a high-frequency array of small elements, a 700-element wide bandwidth listening array, a conformal shell-mounted low-frequency hydrophone, a continuous element for towed arrays, and high-frequency elements for side-looking sonars. These six projects will be described briefly, concentrating on the achieved benefits and what has been learned about applying piezorubber to hydrophone applications, also indicating the areas where the application was less than completely successful.