AUTOMATED ULTRASONIC TUBE-TO-TUBE SHEET WELD SCANNING SYSTEM

Speaker:
Nesevski, Zlate; Force Technology; Denmark

Authors:
Bertselsen, J.P.; Force Technology; Denmark
Coauthor, H.R.; Force Technology; Denmark

ID: ECNDT-0011-2018
Session: Ultrasonic Inspection 2
Room: G2
Date: 2018-06-13
Time: 11:10 - 11:30

Heat exchangers are critical components in many chemical processing plants. Currently, inspection of the tube-to-tube sheet welds in the heat exchangers is normally limited to various methods for surface inspection, while defects inside the welds remain undiscovered, which could compromise safety and could lead to failure and production stops.

FORCE Technology has developed an automated ultrasonic solution, which is capable of finding small embedded defects in the welds, is time efficient and provides detailed documentation of the inspected welds. This paper describes our solution and how we apply it. Inspection of tube-to-tube sheet welds are traditionally limited to visual, liquid penetrant and hydrogen leak testing. All these techniques only provide information about the surface condition of the inspected welds, such as surface cracks or other surface breaking discontinuities. The mentioned inspection techniques are not able to detect any internal weld defects such as lack of fusion or cluster porosity. Internal defects are crucial for weld integrity. FORCE Technology has developed an alternative technique based on standard ultrasonic examination principles, which is capable of detecting them.. The technique offers a lot of benefits for our customers and significantly increases the level of confidence they have in the examined heat exchangers. The technique is very fast, thus minimising downtime and provides full scanning of the welded volume. Therefore, defects such as lack of fusion, inclusions or clustered porosity are easily detectable. The technique makes it possible to save detailed data for each particular weld, including precise dimensioning and positioning of detected defects inside the weld. The data can either be used for on-site reporting or, if needed, at a later stage. The equipment is easily transportable and does not require any safety preparations prior to testing, except for those required by the customer