where expertise comes together - since 1996 -

The Largest Open Access Portal of Nondestructive Testing (NDT)

Conference Proceedings, Articles, News, Exhibition, Forum, Network and more

where expertise comes together
- since 1996 -

3473 views
Technical Discussions
David Bunch
David Bunch
19:59 Mar-21-2010
How quickly will phased array replace conventional UT?

Whats the general consensus on the timeline of phased array replacing conventional angle beam ultrasound? Also, what is the main factor in having prevented phased array from replacing conventional angle beam ultrasound already?

    
 
 
Michel Couture
NDT Inspector,
consultant, Canada, Joined Sep 2006, 829

Michel Couture

NDT Inspector,
consultant,
Canada,
Joined Sep 2006
829
21:43 Mar-21-2010
Re: How quickly will phased array replace conventional UT?
In Reply to David Bunch at 19:59 Mar-21-2010 (Opening).

David,

I'm not sitting on any of the comitees that review the codes and specifications we are using at the moment, but I do believe one of the factor holding PAUT and TOFD back is the adoption of codes and specs to inlcude PAUT and TOFD. One other factor would probably be the cost of the equipment and last the availability of certified technicians.

As to when PAUT and TOFD could replace conventional UT; personally, I'd give it another 5 years at the most. As time goes by, like anything else PAUT instrument may become more affordable and will become the favored instrument for all UT inspections.

Again, I'm just a tech in the trenches, so this is all speculation on my part.

Cheerio's

    
 
 
P V SASTRY
R & D, NDT tecniques metallurgy
TAKEN VRS FROM THE POSITION OF SR. DEPUTY GENERAL MANAGER BHEL CORPORATE R&D, India, Joined Jan 2003, 195

P V SASTRY

R & D, NDT tecniques metallurgy
TAKEN VRS FROM THE POSITION OF SR. DEPUTY GENERAL MANAGER BHEL CORPORATE R&D,
India,
Joined Jan 2003
195
22:37 Mar-21-2010
Re: How quickly will phased array replace conventional UT?
In Reply to David Bunch at 19:59 Mar-21-2010 (Opening).

Dear David,

I will answer your second question first

It is the cost.

This is one single factor that is holding up the transformation in spite of the many advantages of PA over conventional UT.

Coming to your second question It is a bit difficult to give specific time frame because it is dependent on many issues, one of which is again the cost of the equipment and how quickly it comes down to affordable range.

Large and medium Organizations can afford to buy at the present prices but difficult for individuals and small test houses. I made my ex organization but an expensive PA equipment with a variety of probes but I could no afford to buy one for myself as yet.

The second issue is how quickly the codes and client specifications are going to change and insist on the compliance. Even the later part of this issue that is the “insistence on compliance” depends again on the cost of the equipment and cost of inspection. For the present I expect the insistence on PA based inspections will be confined only to high integrity applications where cost is secondary.

In our part of the world, any testing for quality assessment is considered to be a necessary nuisance by some clients as it involves time and money. This is not expressed in so many words but rather in deeds and most common of them (deeds) is by omission of the test/tests wherever he can get away. It won’t be difficult to guess the reaction of such a client to make enhanced payments for PA based inspection.

Considering the above aspects and many others that I could not bring out here, the majority changeover in codes and client specifications (about 80%) may take about five years from now.

Finally the conventional Ultrasonic techniques do not go away as long as old guys like me do not vanish from the scene.

With best wishes

P V SASTRY

    
 
 
Michael Moles †2014 *1948
, Joined ,
23:02 Mar-21-2010
Re: How quickly will phased array replace conventional UT?
In Reply to P V SASTRY at 22:37 Mar-21-2010 .

David:

It is not so simple, and depends a lot on where you are and who you are working for.

Cost: Not exactly, at least not in North America. When OmniScan first came out, the biggest successes were with small, privately-owned companies who could see immediate benefits (i.e. lower operating costs) with PA. Then the bigger companies came on-side. It's true that cost is an issue in some cases, probably up-and-coming countries, but the application is important too.

Codes: Yes, but not exclusively. We now have ASME codes and other codes are in the making, but there are some industries that adopted PA before the codes were published, while others are still not on-side.

In my opinion, PA has been accepted a lot faster than many other technologies.

Michael Moles
Olympus NDT

    
 
 
Andrew Cunningham
NDT Inspector
Canada, Joined Jun 2008, 238

Andrew Cunningham

NDT Inspector
Canada,
Joined Jun 2008
238
23:50 Mar-21-2010
Re: How quickly will phased array replace conventional UT?
In Reply to David Bunch at 19:59 Mar-21-2010 (Opening).

David,
In my opinion, PAUT is the future of utrasound. However, as long as novice technicians are being trained in PAUT, simply to pass the course exam (with little or no understanding of sound propagation or accoustics), then being let loose in the field as 'qualifed', mistakes are being made and PAUT is gaining a bad reputation with the customer. Hence, conventional shear-wave will, at the moment, remain the most reliable method of UT.
Untill the examining bodies produce an INDEPENDENT exam of competence like PCN the standard will remain low. I believe egos need to be put aside from those who are puting their names forward infront of the advancement of PAUT things will never change.
So in 5 to 10 years maybe?

    
 
 
N.Kuppusamy
Consultant, NDT Level-III Engineer
Advanced Inspection & Testing (S) Pte Ltd, Singapore, Joined Dec 2003, 34

N.Kuppusamy

Consultant, NDT Level-III Engineer
Advanced Inspection & Testing (S) Pte Ltd,
Singapore,
Joined Dec 2003
34
06:06 Mar-22-2010
Re: How quickly will phased array replace conventional UT?
In Reply to David Bunch at 19:59 Mar-21-2010 (Opening).

Use of PAUT is increasing at faster rate. In my opinion it cannot completely replace Manual UT. It can replace about 60-75% in the next 5 to 10 years. Still manual UT has its advantages over PAUT. It can gradually replace RT.

Main advantage is the permanent record (supplied as soft copy of scan data along with report). Beam steering, beam focus, Speed, accuracy and different views (A, B. C, D) are the other advantages. Only initial set-up for the given pipe daimeter and thickness takes long time and actual scanning for a 14" pipe takes about 2~2.5 minutes.

Large probe size, requirement of different curvature shoes and scanner are the limiting factors for PAUT. These accessories are costly and for small companies it is difficult to invest on them. It is successful on plates and pipe to pipe, it is unable to scan on the fittings because of the large probe size and scanner.Pipe to Elbow, Elbow to Lebow, Elbow to Tee are the examples. Manual UT is performed on these joint configurations.

Regards,

nksamy

    
 
 
Kevin Bett
Kevin Bett
06:41 Mar-22-2010
Re: How quickly will phased array replace conventional UT?
In Reply to David Bunch at 19:59 Mar-21-2010 (Opening).

Hi David,

Phased array will never replace conventional (manual) UT. For a start PA is just conventional pulse echo but applied in a different way. The main reason that manual UT will never die out is that it will always be used in the future to cross check or verify indications found with the likes of PA and TOFD.

    
 
 
Elmar van den Elzen
Engineering,
Lismar Engineering B.V., Netherlands, Joined Aug 2000, 15

Elmar van den Elzen

Engineering,
Lismar Engineering B.V.,
Netherlands,
Joined Aug 2000
15
12:11 Mar-22-2010
Re: How quickly will phased array replace conventional UT?
In Reply to Kevin Bett at 06:41 Mar-22-2010 .

We make automatic inspection equipment working at scanning speeds of 1 to 2m/s. Standard PA, doing full imaging, is too slow for this purpose So for the time being we will stick to conventional UT.

Regards, Elmar

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

Nigel Armstrong

Engineering, - Specialist services
United Kingdom,
Joined Oct 2000
1096
13:12 Mar-22-2010
Re: How quickly will phased array replace conventional UT?
In Reply to Kevin Bett at 06:41 Mar-22-2010 .

In answer to David's enquiry Mr Sastry wrote the all-important 4 letter word (no not that one, Andy!) observation - COST! He then stirred in the phrase "insistence on compliance". As long as the codes and Owners insist on performance qualification how can PA ever compete with the cheap cost of an A-scan where an CP 189 Level II can pick up a set and in an hour be making accept/reject decisions on critical structures. It is astounding that an examination that results in a permanent record of the test is more closely-controlled than one that doesnt!

The ASME Code makes no cognisance of the fact that 3rd party certification systems up to Level 3 for PA (and TOFD) are now in place (CSWIP and PCN in the UK, maybe other countries have their own). Plus to sit these exams the technician must hold manual UT Level 2 and so be familiar with sound theory and properties..

PA will gain wider acceptance when its productivity increases. This means the manufacturers have to start being honest with themselves and their market about achievable scan speeds without lost data. Scan one skew only and scanning is at a reasonable pace, try scanning 90 and 270 combined and it sllows down to a crawl. Out of all the information that is published by the major PA equipment manufacturers there is very little advice about how to be competitive in a cost-conscious world - increasing scan speed and reducing overall costs per metre.

The truth is that TOFD IS in big demand to replace RT (and know I dont know how some companies quote peanuts and claim code-compliance including shear-wave and transverse scans).

One area that I am surprised at the lack of utilisation of PA is Oil & Gas TKY tubulars. Anybody have experience on that topic who might like to post about it here, especially encoded PA?

    
 
 
Ed Ginzel
R & D, -
Materials Research Institute, Canada, Joined Nov 1998, 1251

Ed Ginzel

R & D, -
Materials Research Institute,
Canada,
Joined Nov 1998
1251
13:41 Mar-22-2010
Re: How quickly will phased array replace conventional UT?
In Reply to David Bunch at 19:59 Mar-21-2010 (Opening).

David...congratualtions! in under 11 hours your 2 and a half line question has generated 8 good responses!
I agree with the trend of the responses.
Phased-array UT (PAUT) is not likely to replace "conventional UT" (UT). It may nudge out UT in more applications as equipment becomes commonly available, but as Elmar noted, there will always be places where UT can provide a more cost-effective option.
Kevin's note that it is still the same pulse-echo is an indication that options to PA will not disappear. E.g. just because digital thickness meters appeared did not mean we stopped using A-scan displays for thickness assessments.
Your second question about why PA has not replaced UT is therefore addressed in the first part...PA is not likely to fully replace UT (not like Cro-Magnon vs Neanderthal).
As to the second part of your questions; there have been difficulties with aspects of the new technology being accepted. Codes were one aspect, but we are working on that. E.g. ASME Section V now indicates you may use a PA probe in pulse-echo as if it was a mono-element probe. There are dedicated standards in ASTM and provisions (although often weak) are now being made in some of the other codes suggesting other options including PA may be used.
Andrew's response indicates another major factor slowing the process, i.e. the operator knowledge. CSWIP and PCN programmes have gone a long way to improving that situation. There is indeed a lot more to know in PA than in UT and some form of apprenticeship with mandatory experience time would be helpful.
As to costs; I think this can be a factor but not as great as some might think. I recall one of my purchases of a good analogue UT instrument 25 years ago. For a single channel unit I paid $16 thousand. Accounting for inflation, at todays prices that would be about equivalent to what I could get a low end PA unit for (as a percentage of annual income). And as Michael pointed out, the PA unit is more flexible so with a single probe I can replace numerous mono-elment probes and thereby make it more cost effective.
You asked for a timeline for replacement. Considering 100% replacement will never occur I think PA has already arrived and become well established and we are just now making the necessary adjustments.
(Thanks for the provocative posting!)

    
 
 
Wieslaw Bicz
Engineering,
PBP Optel sp. z o.o., Poland, Joined Feb 2009, 247

Wieslaw Bicz

Engineering,
PBP Optel sp. z o.o.,
Poland,
Joined Feb 2009
247
15:28 Mar-22-2010
Re: How quickly will phased array replace conventional UT?
In Reply to Ed Ginzel at 13:41 Mar-22-2010 .

I agree with the opinion, that phased array techniques will be able to replace many of other simpler techniques. I can also agree with the opinion, that the price will be lower in some years and thus realistic in many areas. The situation could be similar to the situation, that can be observed in medicine, where such systems are now dominant. But it shouldn't be forgotten, that classical phased array techniques has some significant disadvantages, that are more important in NDT than in medicine and could be critical: it is phase noise and misinterpreted signals, caused by not compensated side lobes of single elements.

We can start a long discussion about such problems, but many papers was already written about such occurrences - I think it has no sense to repeat the ideas, published there.

From my point of view it is more realistic, that techniques based on acoustical holography and tomography will replace classical, simple ultrasonic techniques, because they offer similar advantages with less complications in hardware (much simpler beam formers) and significant improvement in image quality and required analysis time. They have one disadvantage: the methods are significantly more sophisticated from the point of view of the signal analysis (software). In comparison typical phased array is quite primitive. But this is - as the development of many other techniques is showing - today not a problem. Computing power is normally available in a huge amount for low price.

I am working with such techniques since more than 20 years and know very well, that the time must come and it will come first in NDT, because in comparison to medicine this area has some advantages: the objects are not moving and their limits can be mostly good defined. It is only a question of time, when the first device using this techniques will be introduced on the broad market. Diverse research papers are already published, some work is done, etc. The question is only: who will start with the first practicable device?

    
 
 
J Willis
J Willis
09:49 Mar-31-2010
Re: How quickly will phased array replace conventional UT?
In Reply to David Bunch at 19:59 Mar-21-2010 (Opening).

David,

The short answer is never, it is simply another tool in the ndt tool box. There are many variables in which one technique becomes more applicable than another so you will never completly replace it.

    
 
 

Product Spotlight

Mentor UT – Ultrasonic Phased Array Flaw Detector

With Mentor UT, you get an accessible and efficient inspection experience. Create user-defined menus
...
and workflows (“apps”) with GE’s desktop software Mentor Create to ensure consistency, even for the most complex inspections, every time. Mentor UT is the first UT device to easily allow wireless connectivity and live streaming, so you get second opinions when you need them most—in real-time.
>

FMC/TFM

Next generation for Phased Array UT is here now with FMC/TFM! Have higher resolution imaging, impr
...
oved signal to noise ratio, characterize, size and analyze defects better with access to several wave mode views and save raw FMC data for higher quality analysis.  Some of the benefits are:
  • Beautiful Image! Easier to understand what you're looking at
  • Completely focused in entire image or volume
  • Much easier to define setups before inspection
  • Easier to decipher geometry echoes from real defects
  • Oriented defects (e.g. cracks) are imaged better
  • See image from different wave modes from one FMC inspection
  • FMC data can be reprocessed/analyzed without going back to the field
>

Teletest Focus+

Teletest Focus+ electronics have superior capabilities than rivals on the market. Beyond the usual
...
test features, Focus+ has 24 transmit channels and 24 receive channels, with an additional on-board switching capabilities. The instrument's frequency range is 10–300 kHz.
>

NDT Master Lecturer

In the program both university professors and practitioners will give lectures, which guarantees the
...
oretical depth and practical inside. Academic Director: Prof. Dr. Christian Boller
The following lecturers are not complete: Prof. Tadeusz Stepinski, Prof. Wieslaw Staszewski, Prof. Frank Walther, Prof. Giovanni Bruno, Prof. Gerd Dobmann, Prof. Philippe Guy
>

Share...
We use technical and analytics cookies to ensure that we will give you the best experience of our website - More Info
Accept
top
this is debug window