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Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing (PAUT)

Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing (PAUT) is universally capable of assessing almost any damage mechanism where conventional ultrasonic flaw detectors have been used.  Weld inspection and crack detection are common applications, and these tests are done across a wide range of industries including oil and gas, petrochemical plants, power generation and chemical industries, especially for the construction of new piping, pipelines, vessels and structural welded materials.  Phased Array can also be effectively used to profile remaining wall thickness in corrosion survey applications when surface condition and part geometry allows.

A Phased Array probe is composed of several small ultrasonic elements which are individually pulsed. By varying the pulse timing of all elements, the ultrasonic beam can be ‘guided’ in a certain angle and focal distance.  Therefore, a variety of beams can examine an object thoroughly.

Applications for Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing (PAUT):

  • Weld evaluation
  • Volumetric inspection of forging or casting materials
  • Mapping Erosion and corrosion activity

Flaws that Phased Array can detect:

  • Weld flaws such as lack of fusion, slag inclusions, porosity, connection of surface, embedded cracks, and incomplete penetration
  • Erosion or corrosion – material loss, pitting, and root erosion
  • Inherent discontinuities in forged or casting materials such as laminations, forging bursts, cavity defects, cold shuts, hot cracking and inclusions
  • Environmentally or process induced damage such as Microbiologically-Influenced Corrosion (MIC), Hydrogen Induced Cracking (HIC), thermal fatigue cracking, caustic cracking and stress corrosion cracking

There are a multitude of phased array benefits due to its universal capability to perform so many inspection tasks.  Here are some advantages of Phased Array:

  • Information can be displayed in multiple display formats (examples below), which aid in discontinuities/ flaw detection.
    • A-Scan displays the amount of received ultrasonic energy as a function of time
    • B-Scan displays a profile view (cross-sectional) of a specimen
    • C-Scan displays a plan type view of the specimen & discontinuities
    • S-Scan displays an end view of the specimen at the current position of the probe
  • The data can also be captured and stored for inspector review.  This also makes future reference and inspections easier.
  • The replayed data can be processed and displayed in various ways using the instrument used to acquire the data or on analysis software that provides additional processing capabilities.

 

Limitations of Phased Array:

  • Accessibility to a clean smooth surface
  • Material of piece being scanned.  Course grained materials and exotic allows can attenuate Phased Array UT energy the same way it will attenuate conventional UT energy and cause limitations to the inspection.
Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing

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XCEL NDT Inspection Services

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