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Proceedings of the National Seminar & Exhibition

on Non-Destructive Evaluation
NDE 2009, December 10-12, 2009

Innovative RT Technique to Evaluate Flaws Location and

Sensitivity in Tube Butt Welds in Dwdi Technique
R. Balakrishnan
Dy.Manager, Corporate Quality, BHEL,Chennai

The flaws present in butt welds of the tube having OD of size maximum 88mm are evaluated in Radio graphic testing through radio graphs
taken with minimum two exposures made at right angles by using Double wall Double Image Technique (DWDI).The penetrameters that are
usually employed to determine the sensitivity of the radiographs are either ASTM Hole or ASTM/Din wire type and they have been kept
either the top of the tube Source side or Film side. But penetrameter images on the radiographs are not true representative for evaluating
flaw size, orientation and location. This new RT technique helps one to evaluate exact nature of the flaw in all aspects including the study
of the images taken in any possible direction of exposure

In the past 50 years the radiography has become one of
the major non-destructive testing techniques in industry.
Conventional radiography is the mostly employed for
industrial products, as it is reliable on getting the absolute
image of the flaws present in the material. X-ray or GAMMA
radiography is considered as the most suitable technique for
the visual detection of flaws as it provides two-dimensional
recordable images and helpful much in the evaluation of
discontinuities. Different RT techniques are being employed
to detect the location and size of the defects/discontinuities
in the test materials. But, the conventional radiographic
system suffers from several drawbacks on the evaluation of
image formation and the resultant image quality. In fact, the
radiographic image presents many interpretation problems to
the inspector who evaluates the film.
Though RT produces visual image of the flaw on the
recording medium, the sensitivity and resolution of flaws at
different depths could not be accurately determined through

the image formation as obtained. The factors such as source

to film distance, object to film distance, and source size play
a key role on the geometric unsharpness and the definition
of radiographic images.
But in Thermal Power stations, radiography especially
on water wall panels joints is cumbersome as the pipes
placements are very close to each other .So it would be
difficult to rotate or to keep the source in the required
directions. In such cases only super imposed technique is
possible but the film evaluation in identifying the nature of
defects and its location seem to be very difficult.
In Industrial Radiography, Double image technique
(DWDI) technique is generally adopted for taking
radiographic images of the tube/pipe butt weld joints having
the size OD less than 89mm as there is no access to keep
either film or the source inside the pipe.
The radiographic source is placed off set to the weld at
an inclination of 12 to15 Deg depending upon pipe thickness
and its OD so as to obtain an elliptical image of the butt
joints of the pipe weld.

NDE 2009, December 10-12,2009

The wire type or hole type pentrameters that are kept

either on source side or film side of the test specimen are
useful in evaluating the sensitivity of radiograph. But these
penetrameters are not true representation of the nature or
size or orientation & location of the defects in test specimen.
Double wall double image technique


For better evaluation of the radiographs taken in DWDI

Technique, the tubular joints are to be exposed minimum two
directions vertical to each other as per Fig II. This would be
made possible either rotating the test specimen or shifting
the source 90 deg to its initial position.
But in site radiography, two such exposures especially
on water wall panels joints are cumbersome as the pipes
placements are very close to each other .So it would be
difficult either to rotate or to keep the source in the required
directions. In such cases only super imposed technique is
possible but the film evaluation in identifying the nature of
defect and its location seems to be very difficult


Balakrishnan : Proceedings of the National Seminar & Exhibition on Non-Destructive Evaluation

New RT technique
To eliminate the above difficulty, a new RT Technique is
developed as described below.


would help much in evaluating the radiographs of pipe welds
having the same dimensions of reference pipe by using DWDI
The image formations that were obtained through
artificial flaws in the inserts are to be properly recorded with
respect to its angle of rotation & SFD and kept as reference
radiographs .The RT images of the pipe welds that are to be
examined are evaluated with the comparison of reference
radiograph images of the inserts for its defect characteristics.



Two circular pipes having similar material configuration

and dimension are welded together except on the portion AB.
A metal piece of equivalent radiographic quality having
dimension of the unwelded portion is made as insert into the
gap. The insert having the artificial flaws linear or round
indications at the required dimensions would be introduced
closely into the gap like a key fit.
The welded pipe with the insert having the known type
of indications is radio graphed by DWDI Technique at
various angles of rotation and with different SFD. The defects
pattern at various angles of rotations & SFD are studied FOR


The Image formation obtained through artificial liner or

rounded flaws can be compared with the projected
images of the pipe welds suitable for DWDI technique
and the defect characteristics can be properly evaluated.
The image formation would help much in determining
the sensitivity of the radiograph particularly the image
formation of the defects like lack of fusion.
The new Technique is patented


Dr.Baldevraj & Dr.B.Venkataraman -Practical radiography

Prof.R.Halmshaw -Physics of Industrial Radiology
Prof.R.Halmshaw-Introduction to the Non-Destructive
Testing of Welded Joints
Article-2-ASME Sec V