The ACFM Inspection Method

David Topp TSC INSPECTION SYSTEMS Milton Keynes, England

Introduction to TSC

Inspection Systems is a trading name of Technical Software Consultants Ltd Privately owned Company registered in England Established in 1984 Develop and sell Non-destructive testing systems based on their own Technologies Operate Worldwide
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equipment based around ACFM, ACPD and ACSM inspection techniques Crack detection, crack sizing, stress measurement Main business sectors are Oil & Gas and Petrochem but also work in Power Generation (Nuclear and non-nuclear), Railways, Roads and Bridges, heavy engineering
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ACFM OPERATIONS ACFM 2002 4 Angola Australia Brazil Canada China France Holland Iran Italy Japan Korea Malaysia Malta Mexico New Zealand Norway Qatar Saudi Arabia Singapore South Africa Thailand Taiwan UAE United Kingdom USA Venezuela .

so can be used through coatings crack detection and sizing (length and depth) Provides Does ACFM 2002 5 not rely on operator calibration .ALTERNATING CURRENT FIELD MEASUREMENT (ACFM) ACFM is an Electromagnetic inspection technique providing one pass inspection has a high tolerance to lift off It It requires no electrical contact.

Why choose ACFM? ACFM Works through coatings All data stored for audit High and Low Temperature Defect Depth Suitable for remote deployment MPI PT Χ Χ Χ Χ Χ Χ Χ Χ Χ Χ ACFM 2002 6 .

stainless steels. titanium. duplex. super duplex. inconel and aluminium General Weld Inspection Thread Inspection High Temperature Applications ‘In Air’ and subsea ACFM 2002 7 .APPLICATION AREAS Inspection of a wide range of materials including carbon steels.

ACFM ACFM is a ‘current perturbation’ technique Is is significantly different to conventional eddy current testing methods It works by making quantitative measurements of magnetic field disturbances which arise when an electric current is disturbed by the presence of a surface breaking crack ACFM 2002 8 .

Comparison of ACFM with conventional eddy current testing ACFM U n ifo rm F ield S im p le sc an p attern R em ote p ro b e d ep loym en t In sen sitiv e to lift o ff A ll d a ta stored for rep la y / au d it C ra ck d ep th w ith o u t ca lib ra tio n C ra ck d ep th s size b eyo n d 5 -1 0 m m E d d y C ur r e n t X X X X X X X ACFM 2002 9 .

ACFM The Bx sensor responds to current density and shows a reduction with crack depth The Bz sensor responds to crack ends and shows a trough/peak as the probe passes over the crack. and indicates crack length ACFM 2002 10 .

Typical ACFM Defect Indication The butterfly plot does not require uniform speed of probe movement ACFM 2002 11 .

Remote probe operator This offers very significant benefits and is being used to good effect with divers and rope access technicians. they each benefit from the other’s skills. neither do you need to consider training climbers or divers to become inspectors. You no longer need to train an inspector to dive or hang off ropes. In the case of rope access the client can save large amounts of money! ACFM 2002 12 . By working as a team.

Remote probe deployment ACFM 2002 13 .

one man and he needs to be the inspector as well as gain access ACFM 2002 14 ACFM .One or 2 man operation? MPI .2 men Inspector does not need to be an access specialist and visa versa .

(Magnetic Particle Testing or Penetrant Testing).Inspection through coatings ACFM does not require the removal of paint coatings. ACFM 2002 15 . Standard probes can operate through nonconductive coatings up to 5mm thick. This provides large cost savings compared to conventional inspection methods.

ACFM through metal coatings ACFM can be used through metal coatings for crack detection and has been successfully used with flame sprayed aluminium. zinc (galvanising) and copper coatings. It is not always straightforward and coating thickness must be small Coating thickness variations can lead to spurious signals .these can be minimised using arrays ACFM 2002 16 .

INSPECTION THROUGH COATINGS Example of inspection through epoxy coatings .one man operation ACFM 2002 17 .

ACFM can also be used for Low Temperature inspections (-20oC )without modification Systems are available for: Crack Detection (scanning) Crack Monitoring (sensors fixed in place) For these applications.HIGH & LOW TEMPERATURE APPLICATIONS TSC have developed systems that can operate at high temperatures >500oC without any need for cooling. ACFM Provides: Potential for large cost savings by avoiding the need to shut down the plant for inspection ACFM 2002 18 .

Transverse cracks should still be detected but can’t be sized without another scan ACFM 2002 19 .new ones being developed all the time Sizing models are based on planar cracks and so will not work on complex branched cracks Scanning with simple probes is in expected direction of cracking.Limitations of ACFM Should only be used for surface breaking cracks Sizing models available for some materials but not all .

For ‘in air’ site operations. battery powered instrumentation. ACFM 2002 20 .Instruments for single probe ACFM Operation TSC provide a range of instruments and probes for manually deployed inspection. rated to 350m. For underwater inspection the Model U31 ACFM Crack Microgauge. is used with a range of probes and accessories. the new TSC AMIGO provides portable.

TSC AMIGO Portable ACFM Instrument ACFM 2002 21 .

Examples of Applications of Manual ACFM Inspection of Dock Cranes ACFM 2002 22 .

Topsides Inspection ACFM 2002 23 .

Offshore Rope Access ACFM 2002 24 .

FPSO Inspection ACFM 2002 25 .

Process Plant & Refinery Inspection Different Materials High / Low temperature Paint Coatings Different geometries ALL CAN BE ACCOMODATED BY ACFM ACFM 2002 26 .

More Examples of Applications for Manual ACFM Theme Park rides to ……. Railway Axles ACFM 2002 27 ...

More Examples of Applications for Manual ACFM TV Mast ACFM 2002 28 to ……………. LPG Spheres .

Uses exactly the same principals as for ‘in air’ inspection. Requires less cleaning than conventional methods for underwater inspection. ACFM 2002 29 .can be used offshore or in docks All data is transferred to the surface for analysis by the ACFM operator. Max water depth 350m .Underwater Inspection TSC have standard equipment for diver deployed inspection.

DIVER DEPLOYED ACFM SYSTEM Deployment Schematic Topside Printer PC Module 110v 350m Umbilical ACFM Probe Subsea Module ACFM 2002 30 .

Model U21 Underwater ACFM Instrument Diver deployed ACFM. ACFM 2002 31 . now used worldwide in the Oil & Gas Industry for structural inspection.

New Smaller Model U31D Underwater System now available U21 U31 Significantly easier to deploy than the original U21 model ACFM 2002 32 .

Diver deployed ACFM ACFM 2002 33 New U31D .

Weld Probe with Position Encoder Standard Weld Probe Encoded Probe ACFM 2002 34 .

Encoded Probe Belt Drive to Encoder ACFM 2002 35 .

Benefits of encoded weld probe Presents data with respect to a known position datum Reduced Wear Rapid crack sizing No need for repeat crack sizing scans Array capability Twin Field capability Uses new ASSIST Lite software ACFM 2002 36 .

ACFM array probes contain a number of sensors. larger areas can be covered either by scanning a 1 dimensional array or statically using a 2D array. centred on the probe sensors. In this way. In some situations it is desirable to cover wider areas with a probe. ACFM 2002 37 .ACFM Arrays Manual inspection probes inspect a narrow strip.

Scanned ACFM Array inspect a wider area than single probes Single probe inspects a narrow strip Array probe inspects wide strip Multiple sensors ACFM 2002 38 .

ROV Inspection with ACFM There are basically two options: Replace diver with a manipulator and use diver type probes Design probes or deployment frames that make less reliance on ROV dexterity has now been used with more than a dozen different workclass ROV/Manipulator configurations in water depths down to 500m ACFM ACFM 2002 39 .

Considerations when using large ROVs Hard marine growth needs to be removed The probe needs to be held steady in position for 5-10 seconds The probe needs to then be moved to an adjacent position in order to build up a complete scan of the chosen area Holding a large vehicle steady in shallow water can be difficult due to current and tides ACFM 2002 40 .

ROV RIGID ARRAY PROBE Rigid array built for deployment by ROV. ACFM 2002 41 . fitted with a stainless steel nose for impact protection.


ROV Arrays designed for Norske-Shell Incorporated suction cups to hold the probe steady while the data was taken ACFM 2002 43 .

Deepwater ACFM .490m Manipulator Scan Scanning Frame ACFM 2002 44 .

ROV Operation Modeling ACFM 2002 45 .

This allows inspection in two directions with a single scan Very useful for scanning large areas or where multidirectional cracking exists ACFM 2002 46 . If you want to characterise defects in more than 1 direction you need to scan in more than 1 direction Array probes can be fitted with twin fields.Twin Field Arrays Standard probes have a single field and so are directional.

TSC have now developed an Underwater Array Probe for this application ACFM 2002 47 .Inspection of aluminium bronze thruster blades An area measuring 300mm x 300mm currently requires 42 manual scans to inspect in both directions. An array probe provides the same coverage in just 7 scans.

MECHANISED SYSTEMS TSC have developed a number of mechanised systems for automated/semi automated inspection BENEFITS Reduce the operator requirement Can be fitted with feedback for position reporting Interpretation can be automated to reduce the operator skill requirement Removes operator from hazardous areas Reduces operator boredom in repetitive tasks ACFM 2002 48 .

Developed for inspecting Titanium pipe and installed in a mechanised system ACFM 2002 49 .SCANNED ARRAY PROBE This probe contains a row of 8 sensors arranged along the probe. When this is scanned around a pipe it inspects a circumferential strip.

Titanium Riser Inspection System Automated ACFM Array Inspection System ACFM 2002 50 .

ACFM Array probes for the nuclear industry Scanned array probe Array probe for robotic deployment ACFM 2002 51 Radiation Hardened System .

ACFM 2002 52 .Alternative data display from an array probe Plan of inspected area showing crack depth Plan of inspected area showing crack end signals Arrays give the opportunity for additional displays. The butterfly plot has been replaced by a plan view showing clearly the defect location within the area covered by the probe.

This probe has been delivered to a client who needed to inspect turbine discs. These can be used with TSCs AMIGO ACFM 2002 53 .Array Probes for different geometries Probes can be built to suit particular applications.

This probe has been developed specifically for the inspection of sloped furnace wall tubes in coal fired power stations ACFM 2002 54 .Array Probes for different geometries Probes can be built to suit particular applications.

Thread Inspection ACFM can be used to inspect a variety of component shapes. Standard instrumentation can be used to manually inspect threads and special probes are available for this application. ACFM is now used widely for inspecting threaded components and in particular. Automated ACFM Thread Inspection systems are also available. those used in the oil and gas industry. ACFM 2002 55 .

MANUAL THREAD INSPECTION Manual Inspection of a drillpipe thread Inspection of a titanium stud using a single probe in a special purpose jig ACFM 2002 56 .

On-line data interpretation gives detection and sizing automatically WITHOUT ANY OPERATOR INTERPRETATION ACFM 2002 57 .AUTOMATED THREAD INSPECTION FOR DRILLPIPE Thread surfaces difficult to clean to bright metal Access to female threads is difficult Operator interpretation of MPI very subjective Large components difficult to manipulate An ACFM inspection system can use an array probe above the uncleaned surface and can traverse the full thread.

ATI PIN PROBE ON DRILLPIPE THREAD The probe head contains position encoder and shoulder proximity gauge to ensure data quality and allow automated data analysis ACFM 2002 58 .

ATI Box Probe ACFM 2002 59 .

Automated Pass/Fail ACFM 2002 60 .

ACFM Approvals ACFM has been accepted by all major offshore Classification Societies including Det Norske Veritas Bureau Veritas Lloyds Register OCB / Germanischer Lloyd American Bureau of Shipping ACFM 2002 76 .

ABS Hull Inspection ACFM 2002 77 .

New ASTM Standard Practice 2003 ACFM 2002 78 .

Plans for including ACFM into new NACE document for wet H2S cracking ACFM 2002 79 .

The ability to deploy probes using rope access methods means that expensive scaffolding can be avoided.Cost Savings with ACFM Because ACFM does not require coating removal and re-application. Inspections can be conducted on live plant thereby reducing shut-down time. ACFM 2002 80 . large cost savings can be achieved compared to conventional inspection techniques.

000 by switching from MPI to ACFM for subsea inspection Longview have reported cost reductions in excess of 60% on process plant inspection when switching from MPI to ACFM MQS have reported 60% cost savings with ACFM during Petrochemical plant inspections ETRS have suggested savings of Au$1.Examples of Cost Savings Reported PETROBRAS have reported cost savings in excess of $2.5m using new scanned array probes for furnace wall tube inspection ACFM 2002 81 .000.

Process Plant Savings Courtesy Longview ACFM 2002 82 .

Process Plant Savings Courtesy Longview ACFM 2002 83 .

Data available electronically for audit and integration into plant management software.Improved Efficiency with ACFM Less reliance on operator improves overall reliability of inspection. Information on crack depth means resources can be prioritised. ACFM 2002 84 . Data is available for review by a third party without need for reinspection.

diver deployed or ROV ACFM 2002 85 .Other TSC Technology Proximity Sensing .has been used for pipe ovality measurement or marine fouling thickness gauging .

Proximity Sensing TSC have developed a number of probes for proximity sensing These have been successfully deployed by ROV for: – Marine Fouling Measurement – Pipe ovality measurement ACFM 2002 86 .

Pipe ovality Measurement The sensor is held in a frame which allows it to be scanned at a fixed circumference. By taking measurements during the scan. the difference between the diameter of the frame and the diameter of the pipe can be calculated to give out of roundness. ACFM 2002 87 .

Pipe ovality Measurement

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Measurement of marine fouling

Caliper Measure


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Marine Fouling Probe

These probes can make spot measurements of fouling up to 300mm thick
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Operator Training & Certification ‘General’ ACFM Training is currently available through TWI in the UK .now EN473 compliant Operator Certification is available through TWI under Lloyds and CSWIP Schemes Walking Stick specific training scheme has been set up under the CSWIP scheme (EN473 compliant) and is available through TWI ACFM 2002 91 .

ACFM 2002 92 . ACFM offers improved reliability and significant cost benefits compare to conventional inspection methods. Applications range from ‘simple’ manual scanning through to complex automated and semi-automated systems.Summary TSC’s ACFM technique represents a significant advance in inspection technology. Fully automatic systems can provide simple PASSFAIL reporting for specific applications.

+44 (0) 1908 317444 Fax.Contacts TSC INSPECTION SYSTEMS 6 Mill Square Featherstone Rd Wolverton Mill Milton Keynes MK12 5RB England Tel. +44 (0) 1908 220959 Email ACFM 2002 93 . www.

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