Published on: March 06, 2024

Applications of Ultrasound

Ultrasound waves are those waves that have the following properties:

  • Having high frequencies.

  • Carrying high energy.

  • Can be transmitted over a long distance.

They have a wide range of applications, as follows:

In industries

  • For cleaning objects that are difficult to reach

Objects such as spiral tubes, electronic components, odd-shaped materials, etc. are cleaned by placing them in a cleaning solution and passing ultrasound waves. These waves remove the hard stains and dirt from the object due to their high frequency.

  • Detecting cracks or holes in metallic components

Pass the ultrasound waves through the metal blocks. If there is a crack present inside the block, it will reflect. Thus, cracks can be detected. If waves of longer wavelength passed through the block, they would bend over the corners of the crack and cannot be identified.


In the medical field

  • Echocardiography

It is a technique used to produce a live image of the human heart using ultrasound waves. The image thus obtained is called an echocardiogram.

  • Ultrasound scanner

It is an instrument used for getting images of the internal organs of the body using ultrasound. Here, ultrasound waves pass through the body tissues and get reflected when tissue density changes. These waves are then converted into electrical signals to generate an image of the organ. These images can be displayed on the display screen. This technique is called ultrasonography. It is used to

  • examine the growth of the fetus during pregnancy.

  • detect abnormalities in organs such as the kidney, liver, uterus, etc.

  • detect stones in the gall bladder, tumors in internal organs of the body, etc. As the ultrasound has high energy, it can break the small stones in the kidney into fine grains.


SONAR is a device used to measure the depth of the sea and the distance, direction, and speed of underwater objects such as hills, icebergs, sunken ships, and hills, etc. using ultrasound waves. It is installed on ships and boats. SONAR stands for Sound Navigation and Ranging. It mainly consists of two components:

  1. Transmitter

  2. Detector

How Sonar Works:

Sonar consists of a transmitter and a detector and is installed in a boat or ship. The transmitter produces and transmits ultrasonic waves. These waves travel through water and, after striking the object on the seabed, get reflected and are sensed by the detector. The detector converts the ultrasonic waves into electrical signals that are appropriately interpreted. The distance of the object that reflected the sound wave can be calculated by knowing the speed of sound in water and the time interval between transmission and reception of the ultrasound. This method is called echo-ranging.

Two parameters are needed to determine the distance of the object from the ship:

  1. Speed of the sound through water,

  2. Time taken to transmit and receive the ultrasound signal,

Total distance traveled by ultrasound, eq distance between the object and the ship.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is ultrasound?

Ans: Ultrasound refers to sound waves with frequencies above the audible range for humans, typically above 20,000 hertz (Hz). In medical imaging, ultrasound is used to create images of the inside of the body.

Q2. How does ultrasound work in medical imaging?

Ans: Ultrasound machines emit high-frequency sound waves that bounce off tissues and organs inside the body. The returning echoes are then translated into images by a computer, providing real-time visualization of the internal structures.

Q3. What is sonar?

Ans: Sonar stands for "Sound Navigation and Ranging." It is a technology that uses sound waves to navigate, communicate, and detect objects underwater.

Q4. How does sonar work?

Ans: Sonar systems emit sound waves, often in the form of pulses or continuous signals, into the water. These waves travel through the water and, upon encountering objects, reflect to the sonar receiver. The system analyzes the returned signals to determine the distance, direction, and characteristics of underwater objects.

Q5. What are some applications of sonar?

Ans: Sonar is used for various purposes, including navigation, mapping the seafloor, fish finding, submarine detection, underwater communication, and mine detection.