You are on page 1of 6

Can TOFD replace conventional UT on welding?

Posted by: Rolf Diederichs , E-mail:, on May 20, 1997 at

Many ad#anta$es of the %&'D (%ime of 'li$ht Diffraction) method
are re*orted in literat+re.
,ince the method -or.s fast it can /e an economically alternati#e to *+lse
echo 0% or 1-ray.
2hat are the dra- /ac.s es*ecially for -eldin$ testin$3
4s the method 5+st a +sef+l addition3
4s there already a standard esta/lished3
Rolf Diederichs
6778496%4&: &' ME9;6:4<ED 08%R6,&:49 4:,7E9%4&: %&
M6:0688= 2E8DED 747E84:E >4R%; 2E8D,
0ltrasonic testin$ and ima$e *rocessin$ for in-*ro$ress -eld ins*ection
Re: Can TOFD replace conventional UT on
Posted by: Ed >in@el , E-mail: e$, on May 21, 1997 at
4n Re*ly to: 9an %&'D re*lace con#entional 0% on -eldin$3 posted by :
Rolf Diederichs on May 20, 1997 at 16::!":
%&'D has /een *ro*osed as a #ia/le o*tion to
7+lse-echo methods /y some *ractitioners.
;o-e#er, it s+ffers from se#eral shortcomin$s
that can limit its effecti#eness in some
%he lateral -a#e is +s+ally +sed as a reference indicatin$ the entry s+rface. 4t
has the ty*ical rin$do-n associated -ith *+lse len$th at any interface. %his
rin$ time is a f+nction of se#eral factors incl+din$ *ro/e dam*in$, element
nominal freA+ency and an$le of incidence. :ear s+rface defects are either not
detected or not *ossi/le to si@e d+e to the dead @one formed /y the lateral
-a#e. 6d#ocates of the method *oint o+t that a disr+*tion of the lateral -a#e
can /e seen -here near s+rface nonf+sion and +nderc+t are *resent, ho-e#er,
the ad#anta$e of *recise de*th assessment associated -ith %&'D ad#anta$es
is not seen here.
4n a sit+ation -here a hi$h-lo- (*oor fit+* or mismatch) eBists /et-een t-o
-elded *ieces, the transmitted *+lse forms t-o si$nals off the o**osite -all,
one from the hi$her side arri#in$ *rior to the one from the lo-er. %he amo+nt
of hi$h-lo- can /e acc+rately assessed /+t if a defect occ+rred in the lo-er of
the t-o sides the /ac.-all si$nal from the hi$her side co+ld o/sc+re the
4n /oth cases a *+lse-echo techniA+e can /e ada*ted to ins*ect these areas to
*ro#ide im*ro#ed co#era$e -here %&'D is not ideal.
4n the s*ecific a**lication descri/ed for *i*eline $irth-eld ins*ections the
*ro/lems are com*o+nded /y the relati#ely thin -all +sed. %y*ically 9mm to
16mm -all thic.nesses are +sed in :orth 6merican. %he lateral -a#e d+ration
for the ! M;@ *ro/e +sed /y one of the ser#ice *ro#iders is a/o+t mm. &n a
9mm -all o#er 0C of the metal is not ideally ins*ected +sin$ %&'D. &n a
16mm -all the sit+ation im*ro#es /+t it is not totally corrected. 4 ha#e
mana$ed to red+ce this dead @one to a/o+t 2mm +sin$ a 1 M;@ hi$hly
dam*ed *ro/e /+t $rain str+ct+re starts to /e detected. 4t is *ossi/le to a**ly
di$ital si$nal *rocessin$ to effecti#ely cancel the lateral -a#e /y addin$ a
*hase-re#ersed eA+i#alent si$nal to the lateral -a#e si$nal. %his is an attem*t
to loo. +nder the entry DnoiseD and see near s+rface si$nals. %his is done off
line and -o+ld therefore reA+ire more than do+/lin$ the e#al+ation time.
%&'D is more than 5+st a +sef+l addition. Eeca+se %&'D is not as sensiti#e to
defect orientation it is a necessity to assess irre$+lar #ol+metric fla-s more
common to man+al -eldin$. ,*ecifications normally reA+ire assessment of
indications /ased on am*lit+de -hich, altho+$h reasona/le for *lanar fla-s of
a fiBed orientations, s+ffers for non ideal reflection s+rfaces. 0ntil no-,
*i*eline ins*ections -ere satisfied -ith the *+lse-echo techniA+es as the
-eldin$ *rocess -as a mechani@ed >as Metal 6rc 2eldin$ *rocess -here
*rimarily *lanar nonf+sion -as the concern.
,tandards and *ro*osed standards for %&'D eBist /+t these are not referenced
in the *i*eline ind+stry. 'or eBam*le, Eritish ,tandard E, 7706 is a >+ide for
+sin$ %&'D and *rE:F"-6. %here is a draft for 6cce*tance 9riteria for
%&'D /ased on -or.manshi* and is mentioned in 4nsi$ht (6*ril 1997 #ol. "9
G!) /y '.Di5.stra et al.
Re: Can TOFD replace conventional UT on
Posted by: 0do ,chlen$ermann , E-mail: +schlen$,
on May 2", 1997 at 1!:00:00:
4n Re*ly to: 9an %&'D re*lace con#entional 0% on -eldin$3 posted by :
Rolf Diederichs on May 20, 1997 at 16::!":
%his is an ans-er /y 0do ,chlen$ermann to the A+estions of Rolf Diederichs
D9an %&'D re*lace con#entional 0% on -eldin$3D
and $i#e also some additional details to the re*ly of Ed >in@el:
1. %he Eritish ,tandard 7706 (199") H>+ide to cali/ration and settin$-+* of the
+ltrasonic time-of-fli$ht (%&'D) techniA+e for the detection, locatin$ and
si@in$ of fla-sH sho-s some $eneral eBam*les of -eld testin$ +sin$ %&'D /+t
$i#es no acce*tance criteria and no s*ecial cali/ration *arameters or reference
/loc.s for these a**lications.
Eeca+se of this lac. of eB*erience the E+ro*ean ,tandard E:I F"-6 (1997)
D%ime-of-fli$ht diffraction techniA+e as a method for defect detection and
si@in$D is only a *reliminary standard (sym/ol I) for a three years *eriod.
More eB*erience is needed
J on cali/ration *roced+res,
J on detection ca*a/ility,
J on locatin$ ca*a/ility.
%he ca*a/ility of %&'D to si@e defects is o+t of A+estion.
6fter that *eriod there -ill /e a /allot -ether EI: F"-6 sho+ld /e cancelled
or re#ised into a HrealH E+ro*ean ,tandard.
2. %he +s+al %&'D *roced+re +ses -ide +ltrasonic /eams to ima$e not only
diffracted si$nals /+t also the lateral -a#e on the s+rface and the reflection at
the /ac.s+rface sim+ltaneo+sly. ,cannin$ of areas -ith -ide /eams of co+rse
needs less time than scannin$ -ith narro- /eams, /+t s*atial resol+tion is
/etter -ith narro- /eams. ,o data collection on site /y %&'D is faster than
most con#entional methods. E+t %&'D ima$es ha#e to /e e#al+ated
after-ards offline and this needs a lot of time and a /i$ catalo$+e of ty*ical
%&'D ima$es and eB*erienced eB*erts -hich slo- do-n the *rocess and
increase cost com*ared to common techniA+es.
". 6s Ed. >in@el *ointed o+t already, %&'D is a techniA+e for *recise de*th
assessment. %his is /eca+se a di$ital fla- detector has a *recise cloc. to
meas+re time-of-fli$ht. E+t to determine locations /y %&'D, i.e. /y time
differences , some im*ortant ass+m*tions ha#e to /e made.
J %here m+st /e clear si$nals
E+t diffracted si$nals are #ery -ea., at least 20 dE less than reflected si$nals.
:ot all nat+ral defects, es*ecially ty*ical -eld defects, $enerate diffracted
si$nals, so %&'D -ill not detect them.
J %he +ltraso+nd #elocity m+st /e inde*endent of the direction of *ro*a$ation.
%his is f+lfilled /y for$ed *arts -ith lo- str+ct+ral noise. E+t not /y
anisotro*ic materials and coarse $rained materials. 6lso some rolled steels
(thermomechnical *rocessed) are anisotro*ic. ,o %&'D -ill mislocate si$nals
in these materials and e#al+tion of the ima$e -ill /e -ron$.
!. Diffracted si$nals are only $enerated at ed$es (circ+lar -a#es aro+nd the
*oint of ori$in). E+t /eca+se -ide so+nd /eams are +sed -ith %&'D the
interaction of this diffractor -ith the /eam $enerates a lon$ arch of *ossi/le
locations of the *oint of ori$ine (sho-in$ the eBtension of the /eam, not the
sha*e of the fla-). 6n +ntreated %&'D E-scan ima$e therefore does not sho-
a reconstr+ction of the defect, /+t only *ossi/le locations of s*ecial *oints of a
defect. %his *ro/lem can /e sol#ed /y a synthetic a*ert+re foc+ssin$ al$orithm
(,6'%) E+t in *ractice today %&'D testin$ is done -itho+t it.
. 6s Ed >in@el already mentioned, the lateral -a#e and the /ac.-all echo
$enerate *ermanent dead @ones for *ossi/le fla- si$nals close to these
s+rfaces. %his *ro/lem of co+rse can /e treated /y si$nal *rocessin$
*roced+res, e.$. /y con#ol+tion, /+t it is not done till no-.
6. 2hen$ -ether a testin$ techniA+e can /e re*laced /y another, the
main tas. is -ether a method can detect and e#al+ate the critical fla-s of the
;ere %&'D has some limitations, /eca+se crac.s are most critical close to
s+rfaces, and %&'D has dead @ones there.
&n the /asis of fract+re mechanics *lane crac.s are #ery critical to str+ct+res,
/+t %&'D detects only the end of crac.s /y diffraction. 2ether diffractin$
*oints are connnected (dan$ero+s crac.) or isolated m+st /e e#al+ated +sin$
other criteria (*hases of si$nals, shado-in$ effects on the reflected si$nal or
on the lateral -a#e).
7. 2hen +ltrasonic testin$ has to /e done for safety reasons, it is a hi$h ris. to
re*lace a *roofed techniA+e /y another one -hich seems to /e faster or
,afety and relia/ility of the testin$ are m+ch hi$her if methods are +sed -hich
offer stron$ interaction -ith critical defects for a safe detection and correct
'or crac.s these *hysical *henomena are reflection at *lanes or corners,
reflection of s+rface -a#es or -a#e mode con#ersion.
Diffraction is a -ea. interaction and not all nat+ral defects sho- diffraction.
%herefore in safety related testin$ %&'D cannot re*lace eBistin$ techniA+es
-hich allo- detection and locatin$ of defects -ith hi$her relia/ilty.
0do ,chlen$ermann
Re: Can TOFD replace conventional UT on
Posted by: ;. 2+esten/er$ , E-mail: ;ermann.2+esten/er$@/am-/ ,
on May 27, 1997 at 0F:10:!:
4n Re*ly to: 9an %&'D re*lace con#entional 0% on -eldin$3 posted by :
Rolf Diederichs on May 20, 1997 at 16::!":
%he de/ate a/o+t ad#anta$es and dra-/ac.s of the a**lication of the %&'D
a**roach for +ltrasonic -eld ins*ection sho+ld not for$ot the ori$inal reasons
for the introd+ction of the +ltrasonic -eld ins*ection d+rin$ the 60th of this
%he mayor ad#anta$e at that time had /een the /etter crac. detection *otential
of the +ltrasonic method a$ainst B-ray techniA+es in #ie- of an increased +se
of steels and -eldin$ technolo$ies -ith a remarA+ar/le risc of di#erse$ *henonema (e.$. cold$, trans#erse crac.s etc. ). 6n +ltrasonic
techniA+e /ased on the matchin$ /et-een the orientation of the /eam and
*ossi/le crac. s+rfaces and?or /ased on the corner effect to$ether -ith a
s+ita/le choice of the am*lit+de related sensiti#ity had /een the /ac. /one for
a s+ccessf+l a**lication of the +ltrasonic -eld ins*ection. %he listed
interactions are +sin$ a reflection rather than a diffraction at the defect that
means the @ero-th order diffraction instead of hi$her order diffractions. %his is
an im*ortant fact /eca+se the reflection (K@ero-th order diffraction) can /e
red+ced to fairly sim*le /asic *hysical la-s ena/lin$ +s to *redict the res*onse
from or other defects -ith relia/le ass+m*tions. Es*ecially -orst
case conditions that means the infl+ences red+cin$ the echo ans-ers from
crac.s can /e ta.en into acco+nt (e.$. misorientation, mode con#ersions etc.).
%his is a distinct ad#anta$e a$ainst all other techniA+es +sin$
interactions /ased on hi$her order diffractions, /eca+se in most cases they can
only /e calc+lated for ideali@ed conditions li.e e.$. the res*onse from a crac.
ti*. Resid+al stress conditions, corrosion *rod+cts /et-een the crac.
/o+ndaries or crac. /ranchin$ ha#in$ a tremendo+s infl+ence on the crac. ti*
diffraction can only /e estimated from eB*erimental data /+t not /e *redicted
and therefore not ta.en into acco+nt d+rin$ a sensiti#ity settin$ *roced+re or
the choice of s+ita/le an$les of incidence. %his is +ntil today the mayor reason
-hy %&'D a**roaches -ill ha#e diffic+lties to $+arantee +nder -orst case
ass+m*tions the relia/le detection of crac.s in the /efore mentioned steel and
-eldin$ technolo$y com/ination -ith a certain risc of$. 4n addition
also for the %&'D the de*endency of an indication from the *ossi/le
misorientation of linear diffraction so+rces ha#e to /e considered.
'ort+nately modern -eldin$ *roced+res ha#e in the *ast stron$ly red+ced the
*ro/a/ility of$ /rin$in$ into the fore$ro+nd a$ain con#entional
A+ality deficiencies in -elds li.e sla$s and *orosity. 'or this sit+ation the
%&'D methods may /e #al+a/le tools /eca+se they can easely detect
corres*ondin$ defects. %his eB*lains *artly the o/#io+s s+ccess of :DE
#endors a**lyin$ %&'D and sho+ld /e considered d+rin$ the a**lication of
%&'D. E+t one sho+ld not o#ersee the limitations for a relia/le crac.
detection, -hich co+ld res+lt in se#ere riscs, if this techniA+e -ill /e +sed for
-elds -ith a someho- increased *otential of crac.s. ,+ch a sit+ation can
no-adays not /e eBcl+ded $i#en the fact that a $lo/al economy orders -elded
*rod+cts e#ery -here, e#en on *laces, -here the eB*erience -ith the$
*otential is not al-ays *resent.
%he *ossi/ility of %&'D methods to si@e crac. dimensions once they are
detected is not disc+ssed here. %his is of co+rse an im*ortant ad#anta$e of all
crac. ti* /ased si@in$ a**roaches and is not s*ecific to the %&'D techniA+e.
;. 2+esten/er$
For more information see: TOFD in UTonline 0!"
copyright Rolf Diederichs 01. Sept 1997,