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Ap il 2005 - Back o Ba ic
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Back o Ba ic
Po able Pha ed A a Applica ion
by Jesse Granillo* and Michel Moles+
Mee ing and E en Local Sec ion Link Wha ' Ne Lea ning A a d and Hono Ad e i e
Volumetric nondestructive testing (NDT) is typically performed in industry using either radiography or ult
Radiography has the disadvantages that it can be a safety hazard and is poor at detecting the more crit planar discontinuities (cracks, lack of fusion and lack of penetration). Manual ultrasonics is much detecting planar discontinuities, but it is slow and the results are highly dependent on the operator. Auto ultrasonic testing typically involves large, expensive and inflexible systems, though the results are reprod new development - portable ultrasonic phased arrays - offers speed and flexibility.
Portable phased array ultrasonic equipment is highly computerized and can be operated in manual, semiautomated (encoded, with or without a scanning aid) or fully automated (operating a scanning rig) m This new generation of equipment offers many of the advantages of phased arrays: speed, flexibility, da storage, imaging, reproducibility and limited footprint, with many of the advantages of manual ultrasonics portability, ease of setup and relatively low cost.
After briefly introducing the principles of phased arrays and the types of scans, this paper describes a s portable phased array applications. As normal with new categories of equipment, many of the initial app have been unusual in some way; more recently, general applications for weld testing have become viabl Perhaps more interesting is the observation that most of the applications are either fully manual or semiautomated. Very few portable phased array applications are fully automated.
ULTRASONIC PHASED ARRAYS Ultrasonic phased arrays are a novel technique for generating and receiving ultrasound. Instead of a sin transducer and beam, phased arrays use multiple ultrasonic elements and electronic time delays to crea beams by constructive and destructive interference. As such, phased arrays offer significant technical advantages for weld testing over conventional ultrasonics. The phased array beams can be steered, sca swept and focused electronically. Beam steering permits the selected beam angles to be optimized ultra by orienting them perpendicular to the predicted discontinuities, for example lack of fusion in automated
ortable phased arrays are commercially and technically viable for a wide range of applications.
Electronic scanning permits very rapid coverage of the components, typically an order of magnitude fast single transducer mechanical system. Beam steering (usually called sectorial or azimuthal scanning) for mapping components at appropriate angles to optimize the probability of detection of discontinuities Sectorial scanning is also useful when only a minimal footprint is possible. Electronic focusing permits o the beam shape and size at the expected discontinuity location, as well as optimizing the probability of d Overall, the use of phased arrays permits optimizing discontinuity detection while minimizing testing time
Ho Pha ed A a Wo k Ultrasonic phased arrays are similar in principle to phased array radar, sonar and other wave physics applications. However, ultrasonic development is behind the other applications due to a smaller market, wavelengths, mode conversions and more complex components. Several authors have reviewed ultrasonic phased arrays (Clay et al., 1999; Wustenberg et al., 1999; Lafontaine and Cancre, 2000), tho industrial uses have been limited until the last few years.
.a n .o g/p blica ion /ma e ial e al/ba ic /ap 05ba ic /ap 05ba ic .h m 1/13
These elements usually pulsed in groups from 4 to 16 elements. though typically a single array can perform multiple tests. to ensure uniform signal strength across the array (and wedge). this eliminates programming the array parameters. phased arrays use a linear scanning approach. with up to 256 focal laws (individual beam pulses). The time delay values are back calculated using time of flight from the focal spot and the scan assemble individual focal laws. T pe of Scan Using electronic pulsing and receiving provides significant opportunities for a variety of scan patterns. groups of 8 to 16. Applications for sectorial scanning typically invo stationary array. or uses a predefined file: test angle. The unit can perform electronic and s scans. it is independent of the generating technique (piezoele electromagnetic. B-. but alter the time delays to sweep the beam through a se angles. if 5 MHz is the optimum testing frequency with conventional ultrasonics. alarms. time corrected gain.and A-scans). Time delay circuits must be accurate to around 2 ns to provide the accuracy The setup information is electronically recorded and only takes seconds to reload. The phased array unit records full waveform data at multiple angles/positions and can display A-. this is a straightforward scan to program.6 kg (10 lb) unit also recognition" function. Electronic and linear (single axis mechanical scanning) testing permits rapid coverag tight focal spot. This is very time consuming. range and so forth) and can operate as such. which the operator scans back and for cover the area to be tested. The instrumen digital and can perform encoded scans. time of flight diffraction.o g/p blica ion /ma e ial e al/ba ic /ap 05ba ic /ap 05ba ic .Back o Ba ic From a practical viewpoint. the probe or transducer is critically important. The . The data can be p to provide a C-scan or combined scans (for example. In contrast.3/17/12 industrial uses have been limited until the last few years. PORTABLE PHASED ARRAY INSTRUMENT A portable phased array unit with manual. with a single trans scanned back and forth for corrosion or weld testing. Here. semiautomated and automated capability has been develope practice. Modifying a prepared quick in comparison with physically adjusting conventional transducers. the sweep angles can vary from 20 to 80 degrees. top/side/end views or combined S. Phased arrays use an array of elements. Electronic scans are performed by multiplexing along an array. aperture size. A typical user friendly computerized setup calculates delays from operator input. 2004). C-. Sectorial scans use the same set of elements. once the ultrasound is in the material. with replaceable function modules (besides phased arrays. Again. many of the details of ultrasonic testing remain unchanged. Manual ultrasonic testing is performed using a single transducer. The unit also has built in reporting (using pasted in scans) and internal procedure capability. gates. then the scan pattern is a simple B-scan. this is a multiple technology unit. A a As with all testing systems. pulsed and time shifted. There is a special calibration process for pha arrays. where the array is automatically detected and characterized when connected. focal length and incident angle. It has ultrasonic specifications similar to an upscale single channel discontinuity detector (frequen filtering. The current phased array unit is a 16/128 unit (16 multiplexed 128 channels).a n . to map out the features (and discontinuities). ultrasonic phased arrays are merely a technique for generating and receivin ultrasound. then arrays would typically use the same frequency. This is perhaps even more the with arrays. focal distance. T basic patterns are electronic and sectorial scans. If the array is flat and linear. and combined scans. the probe is mechanically scanned in a around or along the component (a weld in this example). often with appropriate wedges. since the system has zones at the start and finish of the raster. Depending primarily on the array frequency and spacing. th conventional ultrasonics. This gives much increased imaging capability. Consequently. laser or phased arrays). eddy current and eddy current array modules available other technologies in development). The 4. Ap il 2005 . Many automated testing systems use a similar approach. for example. sweeping across a relatively inaccessible component like a turbine blade root (Ciorau 2000). Typical arrays have up to 128 elements.h m 2/13 . scan pattern and so forth Figures in R/D Tech. while the array performs electronic or sectorial Linear scanning is frequently used in pipe mills and on pipelines. all individually wired.
with minimal probe movement. or complex. being a nuclear application. high and as little as 3 mm [0. though typically a single array can perform multiple tests. defense.] long) must be detected. the real limitations of arrays are cost. made by orbital welders. with hundreds of elements. Space between pipes was minimal. Rapid and reliable testing was required. this provides a cross section of typical uses and covers a variety of industries: nuclear. due to outage costs. However. These arrays can be matrix. with the data displayed as C-scans. thicknesses were generally thin. howev does not alter the application principles).3/17/12 with arrays. Small Diame e A eni ic Pipe Weld Te ing This application involved testing stainless steel pipe welds of variable diameters for a nuclear waste app The welds were autogenous.a n . manufacturing and aerospace. The portable phased array solution used two arrays generating shear waves. one on either side of the w splitter cable. and small discontinuities (1 mm [0. This list is far from exhaustive and new applications are arriving regularly. circular. The solution was to use a relatively high frequency (6 to 12 MHz) and to plot the scans on a com overlay. data recording. Radiography was not permitted for safety reasons. The more advanced arrays. The phased array solution was to model the application to optimize array design using ray tracing to opt testing. Discontinuity range and location varies.o g/p blica ion /ma e ial e al/ba ic /ap 05ba ic /ap 05ba ic . The technical limits to arrays. automated manufacturing of a standard series of linear arrays has been d Ap il 2005 .12 in. as such. the weld profile was near vertical. De ec ion and Si ing of S e Co o ion C acking in T bine Roo This application involves a large number of components and high downtime costs. can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars. often with appropriate wedges.Back o Ba ic APPLICATIONS This section lists a dozen portable phased array unit applications. necessitating a manual scan or low scanner.15 mm (6 x 10 normally under 20 MHz. S-scans were used. individual element sizes are limited in practice to around 0. To reduce costs. However.h m 3/13 . petrochemical. multiple units and multiplexed scans were used. S-scans were used. (In practice. Linear scanning around the weld and a low profile scanner with a small encoder was used collection. False calls must be minimized. Figure 1 shows the scanner and dis (a) (b) . plus limited access in nuclear reactor.
The data stored and displayed as S-scans or top/side/end views. so testing must be quick. 16 element array with a miniature wheel en attached (Figure 2). Once detected. storing the data for reference and imaging discontinuities for optimum sizing.scan display showing 1. The portable phased array solution is to use a small 10 MHz.5 mm (0. Radiation high.04 in.o g/p blica ion /ma e ial e al/ba ic /ap 05ba ic /ap 05ba ic .Phased array detection of stress corrosion cracking in feeder pipes: (a) scanning setup. Crack heights are less 1 mm (0. rapid and reliable test welds in plate or tubes.).06 in. S. ( detection.Small diameter austenitic pipe weld testing: (a) twin shear wave wedges with low pro scanner. These pipes are ferritic steel. Typically. (b) typical A-.a n . discontinuities could be accurately sized using time of flight diffracti (a) (b) Figure 2 .h m The portable phased array solution uses an array on a wedge (for wear and optimum angles) to generat waves as usual. S-scans or electronic scans are performed using a linear scan along the weld.Back o Ba ic Figure 1 . In Se ice Te ing of Pipe fo S e Co o ion C acking This nuclear application is for detecting axial stress corrosion cracking in Canada Deuterium Uranium (C reactor feeder pipes. 4/13 . butt weld testing represents a huge and varied application. B Weld Te ing In contrast to the nuclear applications above.and C. .) and wall thicknesses are typically 10 mm (0. with very limited access between pipes.) calibration hole.3/17/12 Ap il 2005 .4 in. this testing is performed according to an established code and approved procedure and techn ASME code approval has been obtained using external consultants for pipes and butt welds up to 25 m Typical testing criteria for practical applications include performing cost effective.
Back o Ba ic T. The testing must be rapid and comparatively inexpensive. 5 MHz. a second setup loaded to perform S-scans using 30 degree S-scans. Standard hydrogen induced cracking is benign and easily detected by ultrasonics. Probe movement is limited. at an angle to the surface. Figure 3 shows the Tgeometry and testing in action. The operator looks for additional signals between hydrogen induced reflections to identify stress oriented hydrogen induced cracking (Figure 4). since most hydrogen induced cracking and stress oriented hydrogen induc cracking occurs at 1/3 to 2/3 depth. Ap il 2005 .Testing T-welds using portable phased arrays with an encoded array: test geometry H d ogen Ind ced C acking Hydrogen induced cracking involves the diffusion of hydrogen into steels. This stress oriented hydrogen ind cracking (or stepwise cracking) is more difficult to characterize using conventional ultrasonics. . Figure 3 . stress oriented hydrogen induced crac forms as cracking between hydrogen induced cracking blisters. m test angles are necessary and a cost effective solution is required. The portable phased array solution is to use an encoded hand scan with a small.) and reliable detection of planar discontinuities (cracks. where it typically forms lamella at inclusions. Typic these applications involve thicknesses of 10 to 16 mm (0. While induced cracking forms lamellar reflectors parallel to the surface. To determine if stress oriented hydrogen induced cracking is present. The objective reliably determine if stress oriented hydrogen induced cracking exists amongst regular hydrogen induce cracking.h m 5/13 .a n . The array is skewed back and forth to optimize the signals.o g/p blica ion /ma e ial e al/ba ic /ap 05ba ic /ap 05ba ic . lack of fusion and lack of penetration) is essential. The portable phased array solution is to use normal beam electronic manual scans to rapidly detect hyd induced cracking.3/17/12 stored and displayed as S-scans or top/side/end views. A tracking function is used to display the A-scan with the highest amplitude waveform. Other scanning and display options are possible. Data storage is desirable. but step cracking can occur between blisters.6 in. but can be more challenging due to the geometry.4 to 0. beam is focused at midwall.and S-scans. which is structurally undesirable. linear. 16 elem S-scans are performed at between 40 and 70 degrees using shear waves and the results displayed as combination of A.eld Te ing of B idge S c e These weld tests are similar to butt weld testing.
h m No le Te ing 6/13 . without removing the bolts. was used. scanning is needed. but the scanning area is limited. .Gasket corrosion mapping: (a) schematic showing flange gasket. (b) A-scan. Flange Co o ion nde Ga ke The requirement is to detect corrosion under a gasket seat. The portable phased array solution is to use a 16 element phased array probe with a 45 degree natural and to perform an S-scan from 30 to 85 degrees.o g/p blica ion /ma e ial e al/ba ic /ap 05ba ic /ap 05ba ic . (a) (b) Figure 5 . To ensure maximum coverage with the bolts in place. Using a corrected B-scan ensured a good interpretation of the images (Figure 5b).3/17/12 Ap il 2005 .Back o Ba ic (a) (b) Figure 4 . area to be scanned. (b) with stress oriented hydrogen induced cracking visible. The angles are difficult for conventional ultrasonic testing (Figure 5a). Testing is possib from the pipe surfaces.Hydrogen induced cracking: (a) with no stepwise cracking visible (no stress hydrogen induced cracking). B-scan and corrected B displays of corrosion mapping.a n . loc bolts and the limited access (measurements are in degrees).
showing bottom surface.3/17/12 No le Te ing The requirement is to detect and measure erosion/corrosion on a 175 mm (6. The image can be zoomed.h m 7/13 . The nozzle is imaged as a volume corrected (true dep scan. corner and smooth end surface.Nozzle testing: (a) 175 mm (6. Erosion/corrosion is measured from the image (Figure 6c).Back o Ba ic The portable phased array solution is to use a 32 element.o g/p blica ion /ma e ial e al/ba ic /ap 05ba ic /ap 05ba ic .) nozzle inside surface testing must be performed rapidly and in service and must be cost effective.9 in. if required (a) (b) (c) Figure 6 . (b) S-scan o nozzle. .) calibration block and bevel end.9 in. (c) S-scans showing eroded corner (the right side is a zoomed image).a n . 10 MHz linear array and perform S-scans usi waves from 0 to 70 degrees (Figures 6a and 6b). Ap il 2005 .
The can readily distinguish between good and double threading by interpreting the B-scan patterns (Labbé. (a) (b) . stored.a n . The portable phased array solution uses a linear array with a custom wedge to fit the shaft.3/17/12 Ap il 2005 . The output display should be easy to interpret.Back o Ba ic Th ead Te ing The requirement is to rapidly and reliably test threads on many munitions shafts to determine if they are threaded or double threaded (Figures 7a and 7b).h m 8/13 . Focused ultr beams are used for resolution and a B-scan display to show correct or bad threading (Figure 7c).o g/p blica ion /ma e ial e al/ba ic /ap 05ba ic /ap 05ba ic .
cross section through shaft showing double threading. (a) . The portable phased array solution used a single array rotating on the top of the spindle (Figure 8a). This type of testing is required for bridge pins. which should both detect and size any discontinuities. per narrow angle S-scan to sweep from the centerline to the edge of spindle.o g/p blica ion /ma e ial e al/ba ic /ap 05ba ic /ap 05ba ic . The results were displayed as corrected S-scan and known features (for example.Munitions thread testing: (a) munitions tail and mockup of probe on custom wedge. A rapid and reliabl was required. shafts and similar applications.3/17/12 Ap il 2005 . lands) were used to determine the locations of reflec Calibration used machined notches.Back o Ba ic (c) Figure 7 . The main concern was that data interpretation could be difficult due to multiple reflections.a n . Spindle/Shaf Te ing The NDT required in this case involved testing a long spindle for cracking (Figure 8). (c) B-scan of threads showing correct threading.h m 9/13 .
Bolt testing: (a) typical bolt with two reference notches and array on accessible area. The imaging permits discont identification. linear /ap 05ba ic /ap 05ba performed.Back o Ba ic (b) Figure 8 ./s).Spindle/shaft testing: (a) spindle and true depth (or volume corrected) S-scan display reflectors.o g/p blica ion /ma e ial e al/ba ic scan manual test isic . using . which makes conventional ultrason difficult. This permits a single p of the cylinder. with a wedge specifically contoured to the cylinder's outer diameter. focused at 100 mm (4 is a manual scan (no encoder) with the operator manipulating the array to get full volumetric coverage. electronic setups make this testing straightforward. Normal ultrasonic testing does multitude of angles required.h m The portable phased array solution is to use a linear array with a water box for coupling. The array performs 10/13 a norma . Testing must be rapid. La e Weld Te ing This is an aerospace test for laser weld construction.3/17/12 Ap il 2005 . The component has a complex geometry. Landing Gea Te ing Aircraft landing gears undergo considerable stress on landing and takeoff. (b) AS-scan image from typical bolt. reference notch and backwall. showing threads. It would be possible to include distance amplitude correction or time correc (a) (b) Figure 9 . Though there are several different cylinder outer diameters and m diameters within each.a n . (b) typical location of cracking in spindle. with full data collection. The bolts are large (around 220 mm long) and fatigue susceptible areas are typically hidden (Figure 9a). nor appropriate data storage and imaging. rapid tes required and full data storage is needed. A 10 m (32. imaging makes interpretation much easier and more reproducible (Figure 9b) and tests were much fast with conventional ultrasound. The area to be tested has three different diameters. The portable phased array solution is to perform a 0 to 15 degree L-wave S scan. reprodu convenient. and are potentially susceptib fatigue cracking. The portable phased array solution is to use an S-scan to generate 40 to 65 degree shear waves inside component.8 ft) an encoder at 25 mm/s (1 in. Te ing of B idge Bol Bolts hold bridges together and undergo significant fatigue cycles.
We look forward to the first weld testing using portable phased arrays. DISCUSSION The applications listed above show that portable phased arrays can perform many different types of ND generic weld testing to more specialized applications.a n .and A-scans and the da as usual.6 mm [0.3/17/12 Ap il 2005 .o g/p blica ion /ma e ial e al/ba ic /ap 05ba ic /ap 05ba ic . This particular application is f mm (0. early evidence shows that such is approximately five times faster than with conventional manual testing. Some may even use the fully automated scanning capability. diversifying applications not currently thought of. evidence also suggests that portable phased array weld testing is sign more reliable than manual testing. Whil early to determine the cost of weld testing using portable phased arrays. depending on the requirem the array imaging: S-. using an encoder at 25 mm/s (1 in. the operator's interpretation of a waveform is no longer such a key fac the setup is prepared. The portable phased array solution was to use a linear scan with electronic (normal beam) scanning.) Contrary to many applications.04 in. giving a real time C-scan display. Loss o backwall was used for discontinuity detection. The objective was to reliably detect and size discontinuities and to store all data. the element grouping was set at 5. Compo i e There are many composite testing applications in the aerospace industry. All these applications have one or more of the fol advantages: speed: scanning with phased arrays is an order of magnitude faster than single transducer conven mechanical systems. A 5 element probe with a 1 mm (0./s).Scan results from composite specimen: loss of backwall is visible (arrowed). As mentioned earlier.) pitch was used. portable phased arrays now appear cost competitive for a number of applications. The scans were displayed as C. Besides the major labor savings. . A sample simulating layup tape commonly found during the manu process was made with known discontinuities (Figure 10). largely because this is ho new NDT products make it into the marketplace.h m 11/13 .02 would give greater resolution.) thick carbon composite. Figure 10 . most of the listed applications are unusually specialized. (In practice.24 in. All the data are stored. Most important. The array performs a norma raster test (electronic scan).and C-scans offer much better data interpretation than simple A-scans small footprint: small matrix arrays can give significantly more flexibility for testing restricted areas conventional transducers. These special applications will continue. a 64 element probe with 0. the same results are repeatedly obtained. B.Back o Ba ic linear scan manual test is performed. with better coverage and focusing flexibility: setups can be changed in a few minutes and typically a lot more component dimensiona flexibility is available testing angles: a wide variety of angles and wave modes can be used.
(416) 831-4428. Wang. Better and Cheaper Inspections. No. ON M8V 2M7. in Eclipse Scientific Products.C. October 2000. welds) and sta code compliant procedures should significantly increase their application. (562) 439-3102. Copyright 2005 by the American Society for Nondestructive Testing. Inc.granillo@rd-tech. Shenk." 15th Conference on NDT. They should be cost effective for a number of standard applications (for example. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Many people at R/D Tech have assisted in the development of this instrument.net.3/17/12 Ap il 2005 . Vol. 73 Superior Avenue. G. P. R/D Tech. several external companies have assisted with one or more of the examples here. ASNT is not responsible for the authenticity or a information herein. October 2000. Wooh. REFERENCES Ciorau. ACCP. 4615 E. . Washington Group International and Nor Airlines. ASNT. 4.htm * R/D Tech.net. Long Beach.o g/p blica ion /ma e ial e al/ba ic /ap 05ba ic /ap 05ba ic . Canada. Published opinions and statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ASNT. No. Also. A. S. In particular. p.asnt.ndt... Philippe Cyr." NDT. Labbé. <jesse.net/article/v05n10/lafont2/lafont2. One should expect more port phased array applications in the near future. + R/D Tech.htm>. setup flexibility. Toronto. City. CA 90803. Hazelton. www. Rome. Copyright © 2012 by the American Society for Nondestructive Testing. Vol. T. Broadway. IRRSP. Italy. L. Cancre. "In-situ Examination of ABB Blade Roots and Rotor Steeple of Low-pressure Steam Turbine. Poguet. CONCLUSIONS Portable phased arrays are commercially and technically viable for a wide range of applications. "Some Characteristic Parameters of Ultrasonic Phased Array and Equipments. 4. OPG. Using Phased Array Technology. R/D Tech.. Gilham. Canada. Vol.a n . 18. Suite 2. 5. Erhard and G. S.-C. <www. Lafontaine. Materials Evaluation. Craig and J. D. Montréal. Inc. 2004. No. multiple test angles and wave modes and limited acc testing. "Signal Analysis for Automated 'Go/Nogo' Inspection of Complex Geometries Using Ultrason Phased Arrays. The NDT Technician and www. H. D. Azar and J. ASNT e i oc afe o ld b p omo ing he p ofe ion and echnologie of nonde c i e e ing. and F.ndt. NDT Handbook . Clay. 2. Wüstenberg. Nondestructive Testing Handbook . Simon Labbé and others worked on v applications. Products or services advertised or mentioned do not carry the endorsement or recommendation of ASNT. 10. All rights reserved. MacGillivray. 59." 16th World Conference on NDT.Back o Ba ic The arrival of portable phased arrays may have one other major effect on the NDT industry: significantly increased productivity could offset the upcoming shortage of qualified inspectors. June 1999.org are trademarks of the American Society for Nondestructive Inc.moles@rd-tech. fax (562) 439-2102. Inc.. A. They h advantages for high speed testing. Level III Study Guide.-Y.com>.com>. fax (416) 255-5882 <michael.net/article/v04n04/wuesten/wuesten. 1999.h m 12/13 . L. Materials Research Institute. August-September 2004. "Experimental Study of Phased Array Beam Character Journal of NDE." NDT. Pierre Langl spearheaded the development and Chris Magruder. Canada. "Potential of Ultrasonic Phased Arrays for Faster. Introduction to Phased Array Ultrasonic Technology Applications: R/D Tech Guideline. Research in Nondestruc Evaluation and RNDE are registered trademarks of the American Society for Nondestructive Testing.
a n .Back o Ba ic o ld b p omo ing he p ofe ion and echnologie of nonde c i e e ing. .h m 13/13 .3/17/12 afe Ap il 2005 .o g/p blica ion /ma e ial e al/ba ic /ap 05ba ic /ap 05ba ic .
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