Review of Ultrasonic Phased Arrays for Pressure Vessel and Pipeline Weld Inspections

[+] Author and Article Information
Michael Moles

 R/D Tech, 73 Superior Avenue, Toronto, ON M8V 2M7, Canadamichael.moles@rd-tech.com

Noël Dubé

 R/D Tech, 505 boul. du Parc Technologique, Québec, PQ G1P 4S9, Canadanoel.dube@rd-tech.com

Simon Labbé

 R/D Tech, 505 boul. du Parc Technologique, Québec, PQ G1P 4S9, Canadasimon.labbe@rd-tech.com

Ed Ginzel

 Materials Research Institute, 432 Country Squire Road, Waterloo, Ontario N2K 4G8, Canadaeginzel@mri.on.ca

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 127(3), 351-356 (Mar 29, 2005) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.1991881 History: Received February 03, 2005; Revised March 29, 2005

Major improvements in weld inspection are obtained using Phased Array technology with capability for beam steering, electronic scanning, focusing, and sweeping the ultrasonic beams. Electronic scanning is much faster than raster scanning, and can optimize angles and focusing to maximize defect detection. Pressure vessel (PV) inspections typically use “top, side, end” or “top, side, TOFD” views, though other imaging is possible. Special inspections can be performed, e.g., for specific defects, or increased coverage. Defects can be sized by pulse-echo as per code, by time-of-flight Diffraction or by back diffraction. New PV inspection codes, particularly ASME Code Case 2235, permit the use of advanced ultrasonic inspection techniques. Pipeline girth weld inspections use a unique inspection approach called “zone discrimination,” and have their own series of codes. While similar equipment is used in pipeline as in PV inspections, the pipeline philosophy is to tailor the inspection to the weld profile and predicted lack of fusion defects. Pipeline displays are specifically designed for near real-time data analysis. Both ASME CC 2235 and the pipeline codes permit the use of Fitness-For-Purpose, which reduces construction costs. Overall, phased array systems meet or exceed all PV and pipeline codes.

Copyright © 2005 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Schematic showing generation of electronic and sectorial scans using phased arrays

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Figure 2

Schematic illustration of electronic scanning

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Figure 3

Schematic showing sectorial scanning used on turbine rotor

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Figure 4

Schematic showing phased array performing 45 deg and 60 deg raster scans on a weld

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Figure 5

(Top) Conventional raster scanning; (bottom) linear scanning

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Figure 6

Typical “top, side, end” view with waveform. TOFD can be added, along with other displays.

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Figure 7

Typical TOFD image showing OD, ID and top and bottom of defects

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Figure 8

Schematic of zone discrimination. Top: Selection of zones. Bottom: Position and angles for zone discrimination inspection

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Figure 9

Typical AUT calibration block, as per code ASTM E-1961 (2)

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Figure 10

PV inspection using phased arrays on a rotating vessel

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Figure 11

Belt scanner for pipeline AUT with probe pan attached

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Figure 12

Encoded array for semiautomated inspections

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Figure 13

Above shows a typical “top, side” view at left, combined with a twin TOFD view at right. The “top, side” view is made by merging both the 45 and 70 deg data.

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Figure 14

Typical AUT display, with dual gate strip charts, mapping channels, TOFD, position and coupling. This display shows multiple boxed defects in red.

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Figure 15

Customized weld inspection using two different size arrays due to geometric constraints



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