Optimized Inspection of Thin-Walled Pipe Welds Using Advanced Ultrasonic Techniques

[+] Author and Article Information
M. G. Lozev

 Edison Welding Institute, 1250 Arthur E. Adams Drive, Columbus, OH 43221-3585Mark_Lozev@ewi.org

R. L. Spencer

 Edison Welding Institute, 1250 Arthur E. Adams Drive, Columbus, OH 43221-3585Roger_Spencer@ewi.org

D. Hodgkinson

 TransCanada Pipelines LTD, 1401 Irricana Road, Airdrie, Alberta T4A 2G6, Canadadavid_hodgkinson@transcanada.com

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 127(3), 237-243 (Apr 14, 2005) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.1991876 History: Received March 03, 2005; Revised April 14, 2005

In this paper an effective way to optimize the inspection of welds in thin-walled pipe less than 6 mm (0.24 in.) thick using automated ultrasonic testing (AUT) is described. AUT offers a better solution than radiography for detecting and sizing of planar defects. However, cap width, weld shrinkage and defect sizing put constraints on the actual ultrasonic approach for inspection of pipes with wall thickness less than 6 mm (0.24 in.). The applications of high-frequency single/multiprobe techniques and phased-array technology for inspection of thin-walled pipe welds have been investigated in this paper. It has been demonstrated that combining an advanced ultrasonic phased-array technique with a novel approach for modeling and simulation of ultrasonic inspection have potentially significant advantages for enhanced detectability, better sizing and improved flaw characterization of randomly oriented planar fabrication imperfections in thin-walled pipe welds.

Copyright © 2005 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

60 deg, 10 MHz beam profiles perpendicular to inspection surface of 6 mm diameter flat transducer, 6 mm diameter 35 mm radius spherical focus transducer, and 32-element linear PA (left to right, material thickness is 8 mm)

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Figure 2

Simulation setup for visualization of beam cross sections

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Figure 3

General setup for UT simulations

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Figure 4

Simulated echo dynamics (top, left), C-scan (top, right) imaging and corrected B-scan imaging (bottom, left, and right)

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Figure 5

Reflection from weld root (left), 1 mm (0.04 in.) deep ID notch and nearby root geometry (middle) and signal from 2 mm (0.08 in.) deep ID notch (right)

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Figure 6

Effect of positive (top) and negative (bottom) notch tilt angle on 10 MHz PA signal amplitude at various incident beam angles

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Figure 7

(Top) amplitude difference between perpendicular ID notch and tilted/skewed notch using 10 MHz, 60 deg shear wave, 32-element PA probe [notch dimensions 1mm(0.04in.)in height×10mm(0.39in.)in length; (bottom) amplitude difference between perpendicular ID notch and complex tilted flaw using 10 MHz, 60 deg shear wave, 32-element PA probe [complex flaw dimensions 1mm(0.04in.)in height×10mm(0.39in.)in length with 0.5×2mm(0.02×0.08in.) facets]

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Figure 9

Multiple PA imaging

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Figure 10

Digital radiographic image of the weld area with potential flaw 1

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Figure 11

Digital image of the metallographic cross section of the weld area with flaw 1

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Figure 12

Measured vs actual height




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