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Automated Ultrasonic Testing (AUT)

Capitol Ultrasonics is capable of employing different techniques for complete automated ultrasonic inspections.  The different technologies include Corrosion Mapping (CM), Hydrogen Induced Cracking (HIC), Phased Array (PAUT), Time-of-Flight-Diffraction (TOFD) and Electric Magnetic Acoustic Transducer (EMATS).  

The benefits of AUT include:·       
  • Ultrasonic data recorded for permanent records
  • Accurate results and repeatable inspections
  • Reduces cost by minimizing vessel entries and unnecessary repairs
  • Large areas scanned in quick time
  • Inspection performed while equipment is in serviceInformation used for remaining life programs (RBI, FFS)
Corrosion Mapping

Capitol Ultrasonics has the option of three different types of automated systems to use to provide complete automated inspection capabilities.  We have a scanner with a C-Scan arm that can crawl up tanks and cross welds which would save cost on having scaffolds built.  We have two channel systems to use for pipeline and quick inspection jobs, we also have eight channel systems for jobs consisting of multiple transducers (combining wave modes) or for jobs consisting of acquiring data for very large inspection areas.   

Corrosion Mapping is used for detection of corrosion/erosion on piping systems, vessels, tanks and drums, etc.  Corrosion Mapping (CM) utilizes a color code system (C-Scan) for the thickness range for detection of thin areas on base materials.  CM is collected in C-Scan, B-Scan and A-Scan displays with an AUT system with consist of computer, UT boards, motor control and automated scanner to map out and record the size and shape of corrosion and flaws.

Hydrogen Induced Cracking (HIC)

Capitol Ultrasonics AUT HIC System uses a longitudinal wave for detection of the component’s thickness and potential hydrogen induced blistering or laminar type indications.  Two transverse waves are used for detection of ID connected cracks of cracks that may propagate from blisters.  Both wave modes are in a single case transducer.  With the computer software a volumetric projection can be made to merge the longitudinal and the transverse wave data simultaneously, which would allow on a B-Scan the longitudinal reflectors from the blisters and the indirect and direct transverse reflectors from cracking to be color coded. 

Hydrogen Induced Cracking Examination (HIC), hydrogen damage takes place at two temperature regions, at high temperatures, the elevated solubility of hydrogen allows hydrogen to diffuse into the metal and temperatures at ambient and slightly above hydrogen can diffuse assisted by a concentration gradient.  High concentration of hydrogen can cause blisters, once the ductility of the metal has reduces to a significant amount, the metal will actually crack, cracks can occur from the blisters to the inside diameter, or from blister to blister.

Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing (PAUT)

Capitol Ultrasonics uses a Olympus Mx2 unit with (4) different types of scanners to encode Phased Array Data, the pipe ranges start at 2 inch, large scans can be done on tanks also.  Phased Array encoded scans are often used as an alternative to Radiography, phased array produces reliable images with multiple presentations simultaneously, which increases inspection speed.  Phased Array can be used for corrosion mapping, flaw detection and with multiple angles from a single probe greatly increases the probability of detection of anomalies.  

Phased Array uses beam steering, commonly referred to sectorial scan, can be used for mapping components at appropriate angles, electronic focus permits optimizing the beam shape and size at the expected defect location which improves detection ability. All encoded data is on a storage card which can be down loaded on a thumb drive for our clients when requested.

Time-Of-Flight-Diffraction (TOFD)

Capitol Ultrasonics LLC can use TOFD along with Phased Array with an Olympus MX2 Unit for automated inspection of welds for flaw characterization and accurate height sizing.  TOFD offers great accuracy for measuring critical through-wall size of crack flaws.  TOFD uses a pitch and catch mode to receive two wave modes, one travel along the surface (Lateral Wave) and the other that reflects off the far wall (back wall reflection).  The TOFD data is displayed in a grayscale B-scan view.     

With TOFD the accuracy of better than ± .039” can be obtained in a wide range of material thickness for monitoring and sizing wall height in service discontinuities.  When a crack and/or discontinuity is present, there is a diffraction of ultrasonic sound wave from the top and bottom tips of the crack.  Using the measured time of flight of the pulse, the depth of the crack tips can be calculated.

Electro Magnetic Acoustic Transducer (EMAT)

Capitol Ultrasonics uses EMATs for straight beam inspection, surface wave, and medium-range UT.  EMAT can be used on ferromagnetic and non-ferromagnetic materials.  EMAT does not use complaint so it permits inspection of very cold and hot surfaces.    

High temperature EMAT thickness reading are very fast, efficient and accurate at temperature ranges up to 1200°F.  EMAT surface wave (Rayleigh waves) are useful because they very sensitive to surface defects and they follow the surface around curves.  Surface waves can be used to inspect areas that other waves might have difficulty reaching. 

Medium-Range UT is designed for inspection of pipe, using a circumferential scan to provide a full volumetric inspection of the pipe (example: under supports).  Axial scan permits inspection of supports and soil interfaces.  Medium –Range UT uses lamb waves which travel throughout the material with both vertical and forward motion in an elliptical pattern.


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