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Michael Moles †2014 *1948
, Joined ,
15:43 Sep-09-2009
The Benefits of Phased Array for Weld Inspection


The Presentation Video

On 19 May 2009, Olympus hosted the webinar "The Benefits of Phased Array for Weld Inspection". In this forum we run now a recorded version, however, we have to apologize the poor sound and that a few animations are missing in the recorded version.

More than 500 people worldwide attended the life session in May. During the webinar Olympus received many very good questions related to phased array technology and their portfolio of phased array products ranging from manual testing to fully automated inspections.

Your panelists are:

J. Mark Davis, founder of Davis NDE and University of Ultrasonics, is a graduate of the US Navy NDT Program and an ASNT UT Level III with over 30 years of experience in Welding, Quality Assurance and NDT. Mark will summarize the benefits of phased array inspections, and dicuss specific applications of weld inspections.

Coleman Flanagan, Product Manager of Portable Flaw Detectors for Olympus NDT, is responsible for the EPOCH 1000 Series Ultrasonic flaw detectors. Coleman will highlight the various product features such as AWS D.1.1/D1.5 weld rating calculator.

François-Côme Beaupré, Product Leader at Olympus NDT, is responsible for advanced phased array applications and support.


Michael Moles, Senior technologist at Olympus NDT, will join the questions and answers session.

3
 
 Reply 
 
Rolf
Director,
NDT.net, Germany, Joined Nov 1998, 608

Rolf

Director,
NDT.net,
Germany,
Joined Nov 1998
608
21:34 Sep-14-2009
Costs of phased array equipment
With all electronics getting cheaper by the day, is there a possibility that phassed array equipment will cost less in the near future?

Rolf
 
 Reply 
 
Roger Duwe
NDT Inspector, API-510, 570, 653
MISTRAS, USA, Joined Jan 2009, 148

Roger Duwe

NDT Inspector, API-510, 570, 653
MISTRAS,
USA,
Joined Jan 2009
148
23:39 Sep-14-2009
Re: Costs of phased array equipment
In Reply to Rolf at 21:34 Sep-14-2009 .

ABSOLUTELY! It is an electronic device, with a microprocessor at its heart. Look at the cost of cell phones 15 years ago. The cost should inch downward in a year or so, just like any top-end UT machine has. The time-corrected cost of a Krautkramer USN-50 when it came out was about $US 20-23K, currently the [much improved] machine USN-58 is about $US 10K.

 
 Reply 
 
Joe Buckley
Consultant, ASNT L-III, Honorary Secretary of BINDT
Level X NDT, BINDT, United Kingdom, Joined Oct 1999, 523

Joe Buckley

Consultant, ASNT L-III, Honorary Secretary of BINDT
Level X NDT, BINDT,
United Kingdom,
Joined Oct 1999
523
01:03 Sep-15-2009
Re: Costs of phased array equipment
In Reply to Roger Duwe at 23:39 Sep-14-2009 .

no cant agree with that, when we launched the USN50 in Boston it weas around $6000, which would correspond to the same $10k now (e.g. Ford taurus was 15k then now it is $25k) )

Issue with Phased array is not the equipment, which will of course get a better price/ performance position, but the transducers, no sign that they will get more economical, and for PA the cost is much more of an issue compared to monoelement UT.

Joe

 
 Reply 
 
Wieslaw Bicz
Engineering,
PBP Optel sp. z o.o., Poland, Joined Feb 2009, 259

Wieslaw Bicz

Engineering,
PBP Optel sp. z o.o.,
Poland,
Joined Feb 2009
259
19:25 Sep-15-2009
Re: Costs of phased array equipment
In Reply to Rolf at 21:34 Sep-14-2009 .

The price of every product is naturally depending on its manufacturing cost, but more significant is even the competition on the market. Due to the growing demand and popularisation of the technology, more and more companies are entering the market and naturally offering the equipment cheaper. The large leap will naturally come in the moment, as the market will have very large size. This is never impossible, but not visible now.

Large companies, well established on the market, are naturally trying to keep their high prices, but this is not always good for them in the long term, if new competitors are offering significantly lower prices. We are for example finishing the development of our phase array system and will offer this surely for significantly lower price than established competitors.

 
 Reply 
 
george
george
13:05 Sep-22-2009
Re: Costs of phased array equipment
In Reply to Wieslaw Bicz at 19:25 Sep-15-2009 .

We are using Omniscan equipment since last 3 to 4 years and the main problems we face is the poor quality of encoders and sone spare parts like SLA which is very costly. For eg encoder costs 1800 Us dollar which is good for less than 100 welds.

regards
george

 
 Reply 
 
JustinJi
Engineering, Chief Engineer
Doppler Electronic Technologies Co., Ltd, China, Joined Sep 2009, 4

JustinJi

Engineering, Chief Engineer
Doppler Electronic Technologies Co., Ltd,
China,
Joined Sep 2009
4
14:35 Sep-22-2009
Re: Costs of phased array equipment
In Reply to Wieslaw Bicz at 19:25 Sep-15-2009 .

Yes, cost of phased array system to decrease is naturally.
As our company launch a series of phased array and wedges and the price of these parts is just 1/2 of those original vendor. we have help our customers to cut down the use cost of phased array system, such as 7.5L60E for pipewizard.
Here is our link: www.cndoppler.cn
http://www.cndoppler.cn/EnProductShow.asp?ID=135

 
 Reply 
 
anjafo
NDT Inspector
Norway, Joined Aug 2009, 204

anjafo

NDT Inspector
Norway,
Joined Aug 2009
204
21:39 Sep-22-2009
what are the benefits
So exactly what are the benefits as you seem to be discussing the disadvantages :)

Problems I have with normal UT are:

It is very difficult
It is hard to trust on smaller wall thickness due to multiple indications (not ust small wall thickness is we are honest here)
It is slow and laborious

Does phased array fix any of these?

Some benefits of normal UT are:

Quick Analysis for large volume defects
Can inspect different geometries such as T-Butts and Nodes

Does phased array improve on this?

My opinion is phased array is probably beneficial for critical scanning instead of x-ray but do you really need it for general weld inspection, particularly on structures?



I remember when switching to digital UT I didnt think the switch to necessary but I wouldnt trade my digital set for and old one now.
 
 Reply 
 
Rick Cahill
Engineering,
GE Inspection Technologies, USA, Joined Dec 2008, 40

Rick Cahill

Engineering,
GE Inspection Technologies,
USA,
Joined Dec 2008
40
14:46 Sep-23-2009
Re: what are the benefits
In Reply to anjafo at 21:39 Sep-22-2009 .

The major advantages are:
1) With phased array you have an image to interpret rather than an A-scan.
2) Phased array interrogates the part under inspection with a multitude of inspection angles. With single element you have a fixed refracted angle in the part and whatever beam divergence you have relative to the acoustic element characteristics.
3) Phased array provides the ability to electronically steer, scan, and focus the ultrasonic beam. Since this possible, many inspections become easier and less time consuming (i.e. scan time reduction).
4) Phased array provides the ability to cover more area with the detectability of a probe with smaller elements. Consider the reduced sensitivity to small defects you see when using large single element or paintbrush probes. Phased array elements are typically very small in comparison and therefore you’ll see increased sensitivity for detecting small defects.

Bottom line, phased array is still ultrasonics with all of the limitations associated with single element inspections but phased array is more versatile. Because phased array presents inspection data with an image the probability of detecting an anomaly is improved while manually scanning materials at a quicker rate. Although these are not all of the advantages, they do represent a few of the major advantages of switching to phased array inspection.

 
 Reply 
 
Michael Moles †2014 *1948
, Joined ,
16:51 Sep-23-2009
Re: what are the benefits
In Reply to anjafo at 21:39 Sep-22-2009 .

As Rick Cahill has pointed out, there are many advantages of phased arrays. Depending on the application, different features may be more relevant than others.
• Auditable results (i.e. full data storage)
• High quality inspections, especially for planar defects
• Rapid
• Cost effective
• No safety (i.e. radiation) issues
• No disruption of production (cf. radiography)
• Adaptable to many different configurations and codes.
In may cases, the cost-effectiveness is what sells, and this is due to the much higher scanning speed with encoded arrays.
Michael

 
 Reply 
 
anjafo
NDT Inspector
Norway, Joined Aug 2009, 204

anjafo

NDT Inspector
Norway,
Joined Aug 2009
204
17:25 Sep-23-2009
Re: what are the benefits
In Reply to Michael Moles †2014 *1948 at 16:51 Sep-23-2009 .

Can you do phased array on t-butts and nodes?

Is it truly cost effective yet..? With technician and equipment costs just now.

 
 Reply 
 
Roger Duwe
NDT Inspector, API-510, 570, 653
MISTRAS, USA, Joined Jan 2009, 148

Roger Duwe

NDT Inspector, API-510, 570, 653
MISTRAS,
USA,
Joined Jan 2009
148
17:54 Sep-23-2009
Re: what are the benefits
In Reply to anjafo at 17:25 Sep-23-2009 .

Mike Moles failed to fully cover the 'auditable' advantage to encoded linear scans using PA.

The data can be collected by a tech that may or may not be competent to interpret the results. This tech only has to be competent at setting up the unit and performing the correct calibration for the inspection. After the tech scans the part, all the data is now digital. It can be transmitted, via internet, to an interpreter anywhere on the planet. After that interpreter has made his evaluation, that can then be transmitter to yet another country for a full audit of the interpretation. The audited, annotated report plus the raw data can then be transmitted to the Customer for his review and any required repairs can be started.

As for Anjafo' question on cost, currently PA has a small but significant 'edge' on RT. Field RT requires 2-4 techs to maintain the radiation boundries during exposures, plus the cost of a source that decays to uselessness in about 1 year, plus the cost of clearing the production crews from the area. PA is slightly faster up to 1"/25mm in wall thickness, above that it is much faster than RT, and only requires 1-2 people.

There is a further, hidden cost of RT. Due to its nature, fine & tight lack-of-fusion is missed more often than it is found using RT. Any ultrasound, especially PA, will find all LOF, and map it for disposition. Most Codes consider LOF to be rejectable, even in moderate ammounts, thus detecting it is important.

 
 Reply 
 
anjafo
NDT Inspector
Norway, Joined Aug 2009, 204

anjafo

NDT Inspector
Norway,
Joined Aug 2009
204
20:39 Sep-23-2009
Re: what are the benefits
In Reply to Roger Duwe at 17:54 Sep-23-2009 .

With out being too crude is it really necessary to find lack of fusion that is that "fine & tight" missed by x-ray haha.

Even normal UT is supposed to be better at finding lack of fusion but being so difficult means it can easily be missed (in mine and other techs I have spoke to opinion).

I am both hands on RT and UT. If I had a choice of what my weld would be inspected with it would be RT. Welders dont like it when we switch choice from UT to X-ray.

I have not used or seen PA though so would be interesting to try and see the welders reaction.

I would worry about this 1 tech scanning and another miles away evaluating as normal UT anyway is very touch and feel as you are scanning.

Cost: what range would your probe cover or would you need to buy lots of different stuff to cover the same range (i.e all) like RT?

 
 Reply 
 
John O'Brien
Consultant, -
Chevron ETC , USA, Joined Jan 2000, 280

John O'Brien

Consultant, -
Chevron ETC ,
USA,
Joined Jan 2000
280
19:40 Sep-24-2009
Re: what are the benefits
In Reply to anjafo at 20:39 Sep-23-2009 .

The selection of NDE approach is related to many things but today the welding process and low tolerance to flaws can be critical. Small tight lack of fusion is critical in many applications where accept/reject criteria are employed. We are now in an era where flaw tolerance in the order of sub millimeter in height and 3-4 mm in length are not uncommon and in many cases RT is just not up to the job. Phased Array is not always the solution and the limitations of any particular set up and what it delivers are critical. I also have my reservations about remote analysis. If the data is wrong in the first place no amount of analysis will correct it.
Phased Array is another tool in our armourary of solutions - employ it properly.

 
 Reply 
 
David Mackintosh
Engineering,
Acuren Group Inc., Canada, Joined Feb 2011, 85

David Mackintosh

Engineering,
Acuren Group Inc.,
Canada,
Joined Feb 2011
85
20:34 Nov-06-2009
Re: what are the benefits
In Reply to Rick Cahill at 14:46 Sep-23-2009 .

Rick:

I agree with you list of benefits of PAUT. I do have a couple of comments.

The part is examined at multiple angles only if the probe is rastered. If a one line scan is carried out (at a set offset from a weld), each part of the weld is examined at one angle only.

The elements may be small, but when fired together they act as one large element. I think the sensitivity is due to the focusing, not to the small elements.

David

 
 Reply 
 
Yasin Gokce OZTURK
Yasin Gokce OZTURK
00:29 Dec-02-2009
Re: The Benefits of Phased Array for Weld Inspection
In Reply to Michael Moles †2014 *1948 at 15:43 Sep-09-2009 (Opening).

At present Is there an any PA application accordance with AWSD1.5 or refrence project already completed?

 
 Reply 
 
Michael Moles †2014 *1948
, Joined ,
16:09 Dec-02-2009
Re: The Benefits of Phased Array for Weld Inspection
In Reply to Yasin Gokce OZTURK at 00:29 Dec-02-2009 .

Yes, there are a couple but they do not necessarily have full AWS D1.5 approval. Texas DOT had a bridge constructed in Italy where they used PA to detect defects in welds. Not sure of the details, but I assume that any defects detected were subsequently evaluated using manual UT and the D1.5 Indication Rating.

Florida Structural Steel in Tampa is trialling PA on bridge construction, but the trial is not complete yet. Neither would classify as a full AWS D1.5-approved inspection.

 
 Reply 
 
Jeff Browning
Jeff Browning
20:19 Sep-05-2012
Re: what are the benefits
In Reply to anjafo at 21:39 Sep-22-2009 .

Certainly there are benefits to Phased Array (PA), but it is all relative.

Conventional UT (Shearwave(SW)) is tried and true and very versatile, especially in close order indexing on thinner parts and complex geometry parts. Keeping surface contact with SW probes is easier than most PA probes.

However, most inspections with PA do not require raster scanning and can cover the requirement of multiple angles with one scanning pass. This speeds the process up considerably.

Case in point. Pressure vessel state reportable inspections quite often require crack inspections be performed on all full penetration welds. By most procedures, this requires more than one angle, with at least 15 degrees difference, be used. With the proper technique, virtually the same inspection is performed with phased array using one pass of the probe and no raster scanning for weld coverage.

The same inspection can be performed in 1/8th the time.

Another advantage is a great increase in accurate flaw characterization. Echo dynamics of flaws are more easily and quickly discerned.

Also, the exam can easily be recorded and analyzed by multiple technicians, even remotely. I crack size data recorded by field technicians all the time. They may be in New York, Kansas, Texas, or anywhere in the world for that matter. There is a slight learning curve, but once they know how to "pull" and record good data, the quality and accuracy of the process is excellent.

 
 Reply 
 
Gerald R. Reams
Engineering,
Industry, USA, Joined Aug 2012, 181

Gerald R. Reams

Engineering,
Industry,
USA,
Joined Aug 2012
181
22:44 Sep-05-2012
Re: what are the benefits
In Reply to Jeff Browning at 20:19 Sep-05-2012 .

One of the biggest concerns for my Customers has been that they have mostly wanted radiography whenever practical because they are able to hold the image in their hand and look at the images. I have had to convince many that their best welder has an actual defect in their weld.

To some of those that are not educated in ultrasonic techniques, manual, standard ultrasonics is smoke and mirrors or voodoo magic. All they see is a pip on a screen or numbers and a sketch on a report form. They don't fully trust it.

With phased array, their is a large amount of data captured and the reporting features can show and tell the customer where the defect is in relation to the weld joint, its size, and an experienced opinion on what the defect is.

Phased array has its defeciencies such as encoder quality, etc., but its current high cost is comparable to radiography.

What to look forward to in phased array? Its an electrtonic, computerized system that is gaining in support. It will be faster, smaller, and cheaper as the method matures and technology advances. Remember, the method is still in its infancy. Radiography and standard ultrasonic techniques have been around for a long time.

Gerald R. Reams
ASNT NDT Level III,
AWS-CWI, ASQ-CQA

 
 Reply 
 
Gisli Arnar Gudmundsson
NDT Inspector,
Iceland, Joined Sep 2012, 36

Gisli Arnar Gudmundsson

NDT Inspector,
Iceland,
Joined Sep 2012
36
13:15 Oct-13-2013
Re: what are the benefits
In Reply to Gerald R. Reams at 22:44 Sep-05-2012 .

This is very interesting thread, been looking for comparision between PA and RT ( digital ). Can anyone comment on cost difference ( PA/RT ) for ideal setup when examing weldings.
One thing i missed in the writings was the RT has high advantage when it comes to thin material and stainless steel.

Just need rounded numbers for the most common manufactures in US end Europe.

All best

Gisli

 
 Reply 
 
Nigel Armstrong
Engineering, - Specialist services
United Kingdom, Joined Oct 2000, 1096

Nigel Armstrong

Engineering, - Specialist services
United Kingdom,
Joined Oct 2000
1096
21:33 Oct-13-2013
Re: what are the benefits
In Reply to Gerald R. Reams at 22:44 Sep-05-2012 .

The big problem with PA is the need for highly trained and experienced people to verify the set-up and interpret data. Whereas most involved could see if a radiograph was properly exposed (yes, the unscrupulous "bomber" can pull the wool over some peoples' eyes) and interpreted, this is certainly not the case with PA. How many metres of weld have been inspected globally with deficient set-ups, data collection and data interpretation.

In addition its difficult to persuade people that a single sectorial non-parallel fixed stand off scan is insufficient for a truly searching examination.

 
 Reply 
 

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