AUTOMATED ULTRASONIC INSPECTION OF NOZZLES, BASED ON 3D PHASED-ARRAY TECHNIQUE

Speaker:
Nesevski, Zlate; Force Technology; Denmark

Authors:
Coauthor, H.R.; Force Technology; Denmark
Nesevski, Z.; Force Technology; Denmark

ID: ECNDT-0009-2018

Due to their complicated geometry, nozzles are very challenging for ultrasonic inspection. In the same time, they represent a crucial part of any pressure vessel. In response to the demand for a highly accurate and reliable inspection of nozzle welds, FORCE Technology has developed an automatic solution, based on a 3D phased-array ultrasound technique. This enables gathering very high quality historically traceable data for each inspected weld. It also improves detection, sizing and positioning of defects of any kind.

Inspection of Nozzle welds in pressure vessels represents a significant challenge due to complicated geometry of the intersecting parts. In the same time, any failure of the nozzle weld, could lead to catastrophic consequences, such as loss of equipment, environmental hazards or even loss of human lives. Therefore, all nozzle welds need to be examined thoroughly and regularly in order to make sure that the pressure vessel and the entire pressure system is safe for operation.

Until not so long time ago, those inspections were radiographic. However, current standards permit the use of computerized ultrasonic solutions instead, which is a big advantage. The requirement for high quality data leads naturally to the idea to use automatic 3D phased-array solutions.

As part of our Advanced Non-destructive Testing (NDT) program, FORCE Technology has developed an Automated 3D Phased-array Inspection Solution for the nozzle welds inspection. The technique is very flexible and can be adapted to different geometries. Nozzle inspection can be performed from either the outside surface of the nozzle (in-service inspection) or from the inside of the nozzle (if nozzle is sufficiently large).