Ultrasonic Testing of Rails Using Phased Array

Chinta, Prashanth Kumar; GE Sensing and Inspection Technologies GmbH; Germany

Chinta, P.K.; GE Sensing & Inspection Technologies GmbH; Germany
Standop, S.; GE Sensing & Inspection Technologies GmbH; Germany
Fuchs, G.; GE Sensing & Inspection Technologies GmbH; Germany
Koers, D.; GE Sensing & Inspection Technologies GmbH; Germany

ID: ECNDT-0474-2018
Download: PDF
Session: Ultrasonic Inspection 1
Room: G2
Date: 2018-06-13
Time: 09:20 - 09:40

In the automated ultrasonic testing of rail profiles, conventional probe sensors are still used to this day. These testing machines have to undergo various difficulties. The coupling of ultrasonic waves is achieved by means of either squirter-nozzles causing the spilling of ejected water or direct contact of ultrasonic probes with Rails causing the fast wearing of probe shoe. The probes need to be mechanically adjusted in accordance with the Rail profile and probe adjustment-times to test different rail profiles are high. The total number of probes in a system vary depending on the Rail profile and dimensions. However, the overall voluminal testing coverage of the Rail with these testing machines is small. Also, such automated testing machines require a large testing area comprising of complex mechanics and require a high maintenance effort.

In this paper the results of the application of Phased Array probes in immersion model are presented. This technique overcomes the above-mentioned difficulties. In addition to a stable coupling, the flexible electronic control offers the possibility to adapt the test to any desired rail profile within a very short time. Unlike the conventional systems wide range of Rail profiles can be tested with same phased array probe. Through beam-steering and beam-formation of the sound field a higher coverage of the test volume is achieved. Apart from detecting standard defects such testing machine system enables us to handle individual customer specific defect detection requirements.