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Design and Analysis of Ultrasonic Welding Horn using Finite Element Analysis

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Design and Analysis of Ultrasonic Welding Horn


using Finite Element Analysis

Article · June 2017

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ISSN: 2456 - 0464
International Journal of Engineering Science Technology And Research (IJESTR)
Available Online at: www.ijestr.com
Volume-2, Issue-3, May - June - 2017, Page No. 74 - 87
Design and Analysis of Ultrasonic Welding Horn using Finite Element Analysis
V. P. Suresh Kumar1, N. Manikandan2, M. Jayaraj3
1, 2, 3
Department of Mechanical Engineering
P. A. College of Engineering and Technology, Coimbatore 642 002
Tamil Nadu, India
E-Mail: vpsuresh4@gmail.com
Abstract
Ultrasonic welding has been the subject of ongoing research and development of industrial applications. In many cases,
the phenomenon of ultrasound is also applied to joining of materials. The main constituent of equipments that use the
properties of ultrasound for welding technology is the ultrasonic horn. The ultrasonic horn is the key component. The
performance of ultrasonic welding technologies depends on properly designed of sonotrode shape. The present work
discusses the design requirements of horns in ultrasonic system. Design and Analysis of horn profiles for ultrasonic
welding is modeled using finite element analysis (FEA). The design procedure follows selection of the proper material,
frequency selection, determination of the sound propagation velocity in the selected material, calculation of the theoretical
dimension. The following properties of different geometrical shapes of ultrasonic horns are designed. New Stepped horn
profiles for ultrasonic welding have been characterized in terms of displacement amplitude and von-Mises stresses using
modal and harmonic analysis. To validate the simulated results, New Stepped horns are fabricated from Aluminum and
Steel Material. Analysis Results show that new stepped horn has high displacement amplitude and The von Mises stress of
the Stepped horn are more than the other profile horns.
Keywords: Ultrasonic Welding, Stepped Horn, ANSYS, Finite Element Analysis.
1. Introduction
A solid state welding process in which coalescence is produced at the faying surfaces by the application of high frequency
vibratory energy while the work pieces are held together under moderately low static pressure. It is one of the most widely
used welding methods for joining thermoplastics. Ultrasonic Welding uses energy at high frequencies (20-40 kHz) to
produce low amplitude (1 – 25 μ m) mechanical vibrations. The vibrations generate heat at the joint interface of the parts
being welded resulting in melting of the thermoplastic materials and weld formation after cooling. It is the fastest method.

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Fig.1.1: Layout of Ultrasonic welding


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Corresponding Author: V. P. Suresh Kumar, IJESTR, Volume-2, Issue-3, Page No. 74 - 87


V. P. Suresh Kumar, et al International Journal of Engineering Science Technology And Research (IJESTR)

Ultrasonic welding involves the use of high frequency sound energy to soften or melt the thermoplastic at the joint. Parts
to be joined are held together under pressure and are then subjected to ultrasonic vibrations usually at a frequency of 20,
30 or 40 kHz. The ability to weld a component successfully is governed by the design of the equipment and the
mechanical properties of the material to be welded and the design of the components. Since ultrasonic welding is very fast
(weld times are typically less than 1 second) and easily automated, it is a widely used technique. In order to guarantee the
successful welding of any parts careful design of components and fixtures is required and for this reason the technique is
best suited for mass production. An ultrasonic welding machine consists of four main components: a power supply, a
converter, an amplitude modifying device (commonly called a Booster) and an acoustic tool known as the horn (or
sonotrode). The power supply changes mains electricity at a frequency of 50-60Hz, into high frequency electrical supply
operating at 20, 30 or 40 kHz. This electrical energy is supplied to the converter. Within the converter, discs of
piezoelectric material are sandwiched between two metal sections. These discs are clamped tightly together and are
always held in compression. The converter changes the electrical energy into mechanical vibratory energy at ultrasonic
frequencies.
Most ultrasonic welding machines operate at 20 kHz. This is above the highest frequency generally detected by the human
ear. The vibratory energy is then transmitted through the booster. The booster increases the amplitude of the sound wave.
The sound waves are then transmitted to the horn. The horn is an acoustic tool that transfers the vibratory energy directly
to the parts being assembled, and it also applies a welding pressure. The vibrations are transmitted through the work piece
to the joint area. Here the vibratory energy is converted to heat through friction then softens or melts the thermoplastic and
joins the parts together.
2. Ultrasonic Horn Design
2.1. Different Shapes of Horn
A welding horn, also known as a sonotrode, is an acoustical tool that transfers the mechanical vibrations to the work
piece, and is custom-made to suit the requirements of the application. The traditional methods for the design of an
acoustic horn are based on the equilibrium of an Infinitesimal element under elastic action, inertia forces, and integration
over the horn length to attain resonance. Equilibrium leads to the following differential equation.

+ + u =0, …………. (1)

Horns are designed as long resonant bars with a half wavelength. By changing the cross sectional shape of a horn, it is
possible to give it a gain factor, increasing the amplitude of the vibration it receives from the transducer – booster
combination. Three common horn designs are the step, exponential, and adenoidal, Step horns consist of two sections with
different but uniform cross-sectional areas. The transition between the sections is located near the nodal point. Due to the
abrupt change in cross-section in the nodal plane, step horns have a very high stress concentration in this area and can fail
if driven at excessive.
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Exponential horns have a cross-sectional area that changes exponentially with length. The smooth transition distributes
the stress over a greater length, thus offering lower stress concentrations than that found in step horns. They generally
have lower gain factors, so are used for applications requiring low forces and adenoidal horns are basically step horns
with a more gradual transition radius through the nodal point. They offer high gains with low stress concentrations.

Fig.1.2: Different horn profiles modeled for ultrasonic welding.


2.2. Material for Horn
Aluminium
Aluminium is a low-cost material which can be machined easily, and which has excellent acoustic properties. For these
reasons, it is used for welding large parts and to make prototype horns or horns requiring complex machining. Aluminium
may be inappropriate for long-term production applications due to its poor surface hardness and fatigue properties.
Titanium
Titanium has good surface hardness and fatigue strength and excellent acoustic properties. However, it is very expensive
and difficult to machine. Titanium may also be carbide-coated for high wear applications.
Steel
Steel horns can only be used for low amplitude applications due to its low fatigue strength. For severe wear applications
such as ultrasonic metal inserting and welding glass filled materials. Steel horns can be satisfactory.
2.3. Schematic of the Horn
Stepped Horn

Fig.1.3: Schematic of the horn with the length L and the widths W1 and W2 of the back and front ends.
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Fig.1.4: Part design for Stepped Horn Model


3. Finite Element Analysis
The design of ultrasonic horn depends very heavily on the use of Finite Element Analysis (FEA). Mathematical analysis
based on classical theories has been used but the simplifications required to make the equations solvable (e.g. simplified
die geometry or limitations on the vibration mode) ensure that the results are inadequate for complete die design. In any
case the continuing reductions in the cost of computing power have made finite element programs so readily available that
the complex analysis and equation solving approach would now be difficult to justify. That finite element analysis is
eminently suitable for analysing ultrasonic tools has been demonstrated by Derks [17].
This has made possible the use of sophisticated design optimization techniques. Carnaud Metal box Packaging
Technology has used the "Ansys" [18] finite element program since 1985. This is a general purpose program capable of
Structural, thermal, fluid, electrical and electromagnetic analysis using the finite element method. This chapter describes
how the program is used, the types of analysis and finite element models, and the accuracy and reliability of the results.In
finite element terminology these blocks are called "elements". An element is defined by the positions of its corners and
these positions are defined by points called "nodes". One node may be common to any number of elements grouped
around it, and these elements will then be joined together. The allowable motion of each 'node is defined by its "degrees
of freedom".
In the most general case a node will have 6 degrees of freedom – three translations and three rotations.Although three
dimensional elements like this are easiest to visualize for representing a three dimensional object in many cases there are
other alternatives. Similar results can often be obtained using two-dimensional or even one-dimensional elements, but this
will depend very much on the object to be modelled and the results required. The nodes joining these simpler elements
naturally have fewer degrees of freedom, If the problem can be simplified in this way the benefit is greatly reduced
computing power and time requirements and/or improved accuracy. The selection of element types is discussed in section.
The process of using a finite element analysis program at its simplest can be broken down into three stages:
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Figure.1.5: Process using Finite Element Analysis


3.1 Pre-Processing
At this stage the user defines the object to be analyzed (its geometry, material properties etc.), the influences acting upon
it (in structural analysis forces, pressures, deflections etc.) and the type of analysis to be used (static, dynamic, modal
etc.). The user must also supply some information about how the analysis is to be done. To define the object geometry a
simple program might require the user to define the position of every individual node and the corner nodes of every
individual element. Fortunately all major commercial programs now partially automate this process to assist the user.
Ansys allows the user to define 3-D geometry by means of "volumes" of any convenient size within the object. The
program will automatically generate all nodes and elements within each volume given some indication of the required
element size. Other information is often required to fine-tune the analysis process for best results in the minimum time.
An example of this is the use of master degrees of freedom in a reduced dynamic analysis.
To assist the user in defining the geometry and checking his work the pre-processing part of a finite element program is
usually provided with extensive graphics facilities which can be used to produce pictures of the model as it is defined.
This is vital because without it the slightest mistake could produce a model which completely failed to represent the real
object and would give erroneous results. Typical graphical output from the Ansys pre-processor. Another useful facility
provided by some programs (including Ansys) is parametric model definition which allows any feature of the model to be
defined in terms of a named parameter which can be conveniently modified.
Mesh Generation
According to the basic principles of finite element method theory, the smaller the mesh element size is, the more accurate
the results of an analysis will be. If the mesh element size is infinitely small, the theoretical model will approach the
optimal solution. In the analysis process, when used elements are too small, the meshing will generate too many elements,
nodes and deegres of freedom for the model in general. This increases computational intensity, resulting a model that is
either too time-consuming to be solved, or potential errors could occur. Reasonable mesh element size is a factor that has
to be considered in the present modelling.
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Figure 1.6: Generation of Mesh


3.2 Solution
After the user has supplied all the necessary information the program can go ahead with the analysis. This stage may
require a great deal of computer processing time and so is often done overnight or in batch-mode (i.e. the computer works
on the problem only when it is not busy dealing directly with a user). First the model information is converted into matrix
form. In structural analysis an object will be represented by its mass and stiffness matrices which reflect the distribution of
mass and stiffness among the degrees of freedom of the model. Forces and deflections are converted to vector form. A
matrix equation is formed and then solved for the analysis specified by the user. Typical matrix equations for the different
analysis types are described in sections. The result may represent a set of deflections and stresses, natural frequencies and
mode shapes or other results relevant to the analysis. At this stage the results are stored in matrix form and are not directly
readable by the user.
3.3 Post-Processing
After solution the required results will be stored in file of numbers. The post-processing part of a finite element program
is provided to help the user extract the particular information he requires and to ensure that other important information is
not missed. As in pre-processing graphical output is an essential part of this process. Typically displacement is displayed
using a distorted picture of the model on which the distortion is grossly exaggerated (numerical data is also provided to
indicate the actual distortion). Stress is usually shown using contour plots with different colours representing different
stress bands. The program can calculate components in three orthogonal directions or principal and Von Mises equivalent
stresses for output in this way. For analyses which produce results varying with time or frequency (e.g. resonance curves
produced by dynamic analysis where material damping is simulated), these can be displayed as graphs.
3.4 Analysis Types
Three types of analysis have been used in the design of ultrasonic horn : Static, Modal (mode-frequency) and Harmonic
Response (forced dynamic). The following sections describe the function of each type of analysis and typical applications.
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3.5 Static Analysis


Static analysis calculates the stresses and displacements generated in an object by the action of forces (internal or
external), pressures, thermal expansion etc. In the design of ultrasonic horn it has been used to determine the optimum
interference fit which should be used to hold the horn insert in the outer face. This is an unusual application for static
analysis because no external forces are applied (dynamic vibration forces are considered later). The interference fit is
simulated using "Constraint equations" which force a pair of nodes to separate by the required amount. Static analysis
would usually be used to solve equations of the form:
K.u = +

Where K = Stiffness matrix


u = Displacement vector
= Applied nodal force vector

= Element elastic load vector

The applied force vector app will include all external forces and the internal forces applied by the constraint equations. In
this case there will be no external forces and the internal forces will be equal and opposite forces applied to each pair of
nodes linked by a constraint equation. Solution methods will not be discussed here (for information see the Ansys
Theoretical Manual (Kohnke [20]) but the result is the derivation of u the displacement vector which defines the
displacement of each node and fet the element force vector from which the nodal forces and hence stresses are derived.
Hence the result of a static analysis is a deflected shape and the stress state of the material. The deflected shape is
important if the inside diameter of the die is tightly tolerance - the insert can be machined to a diameter slightly larger
than the required value to allow for the slight shrinkage when the insert is fitted. The stress state is important in
determining how well the die performs and its lifetime. This must be considered in conjunction with the stress state
caused by the vibrations.
3.6 Modal Analysis
Modal analysis calculates the natural frequencies and mode shapes of an object. By definition this technique will consider
only the mass and stiffness of the object to arrive at theoretical natural frequencies and mode shapes. Damping (which is
present in all real systems) is ignored. Therefore the results of this type of analysis must be treated with some caution. The
effect of damping on a real system is to change the resonant frequencies and modify the mode shapes. When two modes
appear at similar frequencies in the presence of damping the observed mode shapes will appear as combinations of the two
natural modes, with the degree of distortion of each mode dependent on the amount of damping present. The effect on the
resonant frequencies is to increase the separation between the modes. If there is a large frequency separation between a
pair of vibration modes then there will be no significant effect on the mode shapes, and the resonant frequency will be
lowered slightly by the effect of the damping. The materials from which the ultrasonic horn are made have been chosen
for their low damping properties (Section 3.7) and so damping does not in this case significantly change the resonant
frequencies. Also the separation between resonant frequencies in the area of interest must be fairly large (1-2 kHz) for the
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die to function correctly (Section 3.3). Therefore damping does not have a significant effect on the results in this case, and
the modal analysis technique is extremely useful.
Modal analysis solves equations of the form:
(K - M) =0

Where K = Stiffness matrix


= Circular natural frequency of mode i

M = Mass matrix
= Mode-shape vector of mode i

Solution involves calculating the eigenvalues , and eigenvectors for this equation. The user may select the range of

i or specify a frequency range in which the eigenvectors and eigenvalues are to be calculated. Hence the results of modal
analysis are a set of natural frequencies and their associated mode shapes (the distorted shape of the object at one extreme
of its movement). There is no information about the magnitude of the distortion so an arbitrary value is normally assigned
and stresses caused by vibration are not usually calculated. However it is possible for the user to specify an amplitude
value to which the modeshapes (where possible) will be scaled. In this case the stress state can also be calculated for each
modeshape. The stresses must be considered in conjunction with the static stress caused by the interference fit to ensure
that the die does not separate or fatigue in service.

Figure.1.6:Modal Analysis of New Stepped Horn


3.7 Harmonic Analysis
Harmonic (or forced dynamic) analysis differs from modal analysis in that it does take into account driving force(s) and
damping. It is a steady state analysis - assuming a constant sinusoidal response to one or more sinusoidal forcing
function(s). The equation to be solved is of the form:

M +C +Ku=f
Where M = Mass matrix
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= Acceleration vector
C = Damping matrix
= Velocity vector
K = Stiffness matrix
u = Displacement vector
f = Harmonic forcing function
This is the basic equation of steady state motion. It can be solved directly at a si1ngle frequency to give the response u to
the given force f. This can be extended to give the response over a range of frequencies by repeating the analysis. To
accurately predict the response over a wide frequency range may require a large number of frequency steps and so will
often use much more computer time than for the other types of analysis described above. The analysis is usually run in
two stages: First the solution of the equation above over a range of frequencies to produce response spectra for any chosen
nodes. Second the equation of section is used to derive the complete stress state at only one or two chosen frequencies,
typically the resonance peaks (full calculation of the stress state at every frequency would require excessive computer
time). This type of analysis has been used particularly for the design and optimization of the tuned ultrasonic mounting.

3.8. Procedure

The three main steps to be involved are

• Pre Processing

• Solution

• Post Processing

Start - All Programs – Ansys 10 - Mechanical APDL Product Launcher – Set the Working Directory– Click Run.
Preprocessing
1. Preprocessor - Element type - Add/Edit/Delete – Add – Solid, 10 node 82 – Ok – Option – Choose Plane stress
w/thk - Close.
2. Real constants - Add/Edit/Delete – Add – Ok – THK 0.5 – Ok - Close.
3. Material props - Material Models – Structural – Linear – Elastic – Isotropic - EX 2e5, PRXY 0.3 - Ok.
4. Modeling – Create – Key points – Solid, Ok.
5. Meshing - Mesh Tool – Area – Set - Select the object – Ok – All key points – Ok - Mesh Tool - Select TRI or QUAD
Free/Mapped – Mesh - Select the object - Ok
3.9. Modal Analysis
As modal displacements in the actual horn occur in the x, y and z directions it is better to consider a 3D horn model with a
suitable element. The horn was meshed using 10node tetrahedral – ’10 solid 92’. The element is defined by ten nodes
having three degrees of freedom at each node: translations in the nodal x, y, and z directions and is well suited to model
82

irregular meshes (such as produced from various CAD/CAM systems). An element mesh size of 3 (manual) was selected
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to carry out the meshing. Below this element size there was no improvement in the results as the FE model has reached
convergence. Mode extraction is carried out in the frequency range 19– 21 kHz using Block Lanchoz option. Five mode
shapes are extracted in the given frequency range with pre-stress results turned on. Some of the horns have a single mode
in the given frequency range which is desirable. Two or more modes, close to the axial mode will result in modal
coupling, which reduces the efficiency of the horn and is to be avoided. Two different modes obtained for Stepped profile
are longitudinal or axial mode is the required mode shape. The natural frequency of the longitudinal mode obtained in the
modal analysis for the different profile horns.
Deformation Shape

Figure.1.7: Deformation Shape of Stepped Horn (2D)

Figure 1.8: Displacement Profile of Stepped Horn


Solution
1. Solution – Define Loads – Apply – Structural – Displacement - On lines - Select the boundary where is going to be
arrested – Ok – Ux and Uz DOF - Ok.
2. Solve – Current LS – Ok – Solution is done – Close.
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Figure.1.8: Solution of New Stepped Horn


Post Processing
1. General post proc - Plot Result - Contour plot - Nodal Solution – Stress - Von mises stress - Ok.

Figure 1.9: Von Mises stress of Stepped Horn.


3.10. Harmonic Analysis
A harmonic analysis of the horn is carried out to find the displacement and stresses experienced by the horn in the given
frequency range. The displacement amplitude available at the transducer end is 15 lm (specified by the equipment
manufacturer).The booster amplifies it to 23.4 lm. The amplification achieved by the booster was obtained by performing
a harmonic analysis of the booster.

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Figure.1.10: Harmonic Analysis of Stepped Horn


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Figure.1.11: Harmonic Analysis of Stepped Horn


4. Results and Discussion

20800
20600
20400
20200
20000
19800
19600
19400 Frequency
19200
19000
18800

Fig.1.12: Natural Frequency Comparison

The Modeling using Ansys Software proves to be very important in order to highlight the behavior of the ultrasonic
welding horn. The displacement amplification of the proposed horn is 19% higher than that of the traditional stepped horn
with the same length and end surface widths. M.Roopa Ravi and Rudramoorthy [4] from the modal analysis of the horns
as well as Analysis Results of natural Frequency of Horn are studied. The von-Mises stresses for the stepped horn has the
largest stress concentration near the nodal region compared to the other horns. This is due to the sudden change in cross-
section. The stepped horn which is preferred by the industry.
5. Conclusions
In this Paper, the modal and harmonic analyses for Stepped horns and horns designed by equation have been carried out,
and their results have been presented and discussed. From the results of the analyses, conclusions may be summarized as
follows:
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1. The natural frequency of the horn designed by equation is more close to the operating frequency of the machine. Since
it can be operated more easily at the resonance frequency with the machine, the horns will be more energy effective than
commercial horns.
2. The work provides a new approach for the Stepped horn design by two ends and three Sections.
3. The von Mises stress of the Stepped horn is more than the other profile horns and The Stepped horns have high
displacement amplitude.
4. In overall Progress the New Stepped Horn is 19 % of Natural frequency increased by Existing Other Horns.
5. Proposed Horn Manufactured by CNC Machine for using Different Ultrasonic Application.
6. References
[1]. Amin, Ahamed, Yousef, Computer-aided design of acoustic horns for ultrasonic machining using finite element
analysis, Journal of Materials Processing Technology 55 (1995) 254–260.
[2]. K-J Bathe, Finite-element procedures in engineering analysis. Prentis-Hall, 1982.
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(1989) 1699–1704.
[4]. Constantin radu, Gheorghe amza, Finite Element Modelling and Analysis of Ultrasonic horn, Proceedings of the
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1 WSEAS International Conference on Visualization, Imaging and Simulation (VIS'08) -960.
[5]. N. Cretu, Acoustic measurements and computational results on material specimens with harmonic variation of the
cross section, Ultrasonic 43 (2005), 547- 550.
[6]. B. Gourley, A. Rushton, Solve ultrasonic horn problems with finite element analysis, Plastics Technology 52 (11)
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[7]. Hai-Dang Tam Nguyen, Dung-An Wang, Design of an Ultrasonic steel horn with a Bézier profile, International
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[8]. Jiromaru Tsujino, Misugi Hongoh, Ryoko Tanaka, Rie Onoguchi, Tetsugi Ueoka, Ultrasonic plastic welding using
fundamental and higher frequencies, Ultrasonics 40 (2002) 375–378.
[9]. M. Nad, Ultrasonic horn design for ultrasonic machining technologies, Applied and Computational Mechanics 4
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[10]. K. Nakamura, K. Kakihara, M. Kawakam, Measuring vibration characteristics at large amplitude region of
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[11]. S. Sherrit, S.A. Askins, M. Gradziol, Novel horn designs for ultrasonic/sonic cleaning, welding, soldering, cutting
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[13]. M.N. Tolunay, P.R. Dawson, K.K. Wang, Heating and bonding mechanism in ultrasonic welding, Polymer
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[14]. D.-A. Wanga, W.-Y. Chuang, Design of a Bézier-Profile Horn for High Displacement Amplification, (2010),1-38.
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[15]. D.A. Wang, W.Y. Chuang, K. Hsu, H.T. Pham, Design of a Bezier-profile horn for high displacement
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