Six ultrasound applications

Ultrasound and the high-frequency sound waves that it uses can be helpful in a whole range of fields, from medicine to industrial cleaning. Let’s take a look at six of the most popular applications for this form of technology.


Many businesses make use of a small or large ultrasonic cleaner from companies such as to reduce the time and effort needed to clean items. It can be particularly useful for removing contaminants from hard-to-reach areas and is commonly used on the likes of spiral tubing where ultrasound waves pass through and detach dirt and debris. It cannot remove viruses but can get rid of items of dirt, debris and even built-up grease and sludge.

Detecting cracks

Ultrasound is invaluable in detecting cracks in the metal blocks used to create machinery and bridges, amongst other things. If there are cracks, the ultrasound waves bounce back rather than pass through, identifying issues that may not be visible from the outside. This is vital to ensure the safety of structures and machinery and is used regularly in safety checks in the construction industry.

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ECG or echocardiography

Ultrasound can be used to look at the hearts of patients, as described on the NHS website  In basic terms, high-frequency waves are transmitted and reflected back to form an image of the patient’s heart.

Breaking up kidney stones

Another medical application for ultrasound is in breaking up kidney stones. Ultrasound can break down these painful stones into small grains that patients can pass out in their urine. This removes the need for surgery.

Ultrasound scanners

This is yet another use for ultrasound waves in medicine. Ultrasound scanners allow medical professionals to see internal organs. The waves reflect back when tissue density changes and can also be used to look at foetuses in pregnant women.

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SONAR stands for Sound Navigation and Ranging and is a means of assessing distance. Ultrasound waves can travel underwater to detect man made objects such as submarines and natural features such as underwater valleys and hills. It can also be used to measure the depth of water.