Arrays of dry-coupled thickness-shear transducers are often employed in the guided wave sector to inspect pipelines and plate-like structure. The dry coupling permits to dismiss any coupling material between the transducer and the waveguide, but as a drawback a preload must be applied on the transducers to guarantee an effective coupling between the two surfaces. Although the influence of the preload on the natural frequencies is studied in the literature, the frequency response function of a transducer relating the input voltage to the displacement output is not present in the literature. Moreover, the distribution of force on the backing mass and the effect of the preload on the uniformity of vibration of the transducers are still missing. A natural frequency analysis and a forced analysis are then computed numerically with finite element analysis to quantify the influence of the preload on a thickness-shear transducer. Furthermore, these results are compared with experimental results obtained with a Laser Vibrometer. It is then shown how the geometrical layout of the transducer coupled with the preload influences the vibration of the transducer.

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