Ultrasonic Testing

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    WHAT IS ULTRASONIC INSPECTION?

    Ultrasonic testing is a non-destructive testing method based on the phenomenon of reflection of acoustic waves when they encounter discontinuities in their propagation. The wave will be reflected back to its source of generation if the discontinuity is in a normal position relative to the incident beam. At SCI we have different techniques to carry out Ultrasonic testing:

    CONVENTIONAL ULTRASOUND

    Conventional ultrasonic testing equipment works on the principle of sending a pulsed beam of high-frequency ultrasound from a handheld transducer or probe, which is placed on the surface of the object to be tested.

    In manual inspection, the Inspector acts directly in the execution of the examination, that is, he is responsible for the correct application of the inspection procedures, both in the handling of the probes and in the interpretation of the data.

    In most of its branches, SCI has bunkers for radiography. There is also the possibility of installing modular bunkers at the customer’s facilities.

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    ADVANCED ULTRASOUND

    SCI has been developing its own Automated Ultrasonic Inspection Equipment for more than a decade, based on conventional pulse-echo techniques, or on other more innovative techniques such as Phased Array or TOFD.

    Automatic Ultrasonic Testing (AUT) with the pulse-echo method is performed by dividing the weld into zones and using a specific probe for each zone. This method involves using a probe for each zone, varying the number of probes according to the profile and thickness of the weld. The probes, mounted on a carriage, move circumferentially around the weld while maintaining a constant distance from the centerline of the weld.

    Currently, with the use of Phased Array technology, this type of inspection has experienced considerable progress, both in the method of work and in its execution.

    The Phased Array system is based on the use of probes with multiple crystals. By selecting a set of them and applying the appropriate delays, we can obtain different angles and focuses. In weld inspection, this means that where previously several probes were used, with this technique we use a single probe.

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    AUTOMATIC ULTRASOUNDS PROVIDE SOME SIGNIFICANT ADVANTAGES SUCH AS:

    • Minimize the time between the execution of the test and the results report, allowing immediate correction of systematic defects in the process and, consequently, reducing the number of repairs.
    • Not to use radioactive sources, being unnecessary, therefore, the delimitation of personnel exclusion zones and being able to carry out the test close to the welding front.
    • Increased ability to detect linear defects such as fusion faults.
    • Allow the localization of defects in depth, facilitating the repair process.
    • Enable the dimensioning of defects at height, so that alternative acceptance criteria, such as the Engineering Critical Assessment, can be used.
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