Date of Award


Level of Access Assigned by Author

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering


Michael Peterson

Second Committee Member

Donald Grant

Third Committee Member

Eric N. Landis


The efficient transfer of ultrasonic energy depends on the ability of the couplant to make good surface contact across boundaries such as those between the buffer rod and the test piece. For high temperature ultrasonic testing selecting a couplant is an important barrier issue in many testing configurations. Improved couplants will decrease the error in determination of the attenuation and modulus of elasticity at elevated temperatures. Several possible high temperature couplant materials are considered. The attenuation of ultrasound through the dry couplant materials is then measured at elevated temperatures and appropriate testing is performed. It is expected that one of these materials will be used which softens near the testing temperatures of interest. This will result in improved ultrasonic coupling. It was found that the most effective couplants tested were aluminum and gold. For the temperatures over a range from 20 to 600°C, aluminum appears to be good couplant and gold over a range from 20 to 1100°C.