|NDT.net||December 2006, Vol. 11 No.12|
New Immersion Phased Array Probes From GE Inspection Technologies
Phased array transducers are essentially multi-element probes, where groups of elements can be individually computer-controlled. In this way, the small wavefronts created can be time-delayed and synchronized for phase and amplitude such that a focused, steerable beam is produced. As a result, a single, phased array probe can perform those inspection tasks normally requiring large numbers of conventional probes or multiple scanning passes. This means that inspections are faster, probability of flaw detection is increased, inspection equipment is more flexible as set-up change over can be achieved very quickly and there is no need to carry different sets of probes for different inspection tasks. In addition, the real time, sector scan imaging of phased array provides an integrated, cross-sectional, easy-to-understand visualisation of any area or component under inspection. This helps ultrasound to distinguish echoes from acceptable geometry and unacceptable reflections.
The new phased array immersion probes offer frequencies from 1 MHz to 10 MHz and can have 32, 64 or 128 elements. They complement GE's existing range of linear angle beam phased array probes, which are available with frequencies up to 7.5 MHz, with 16, 32, 64 or 128 elements. All probes can be used with GE phased array instruments and systems, including the new Phasor XS, which brings phased array capability to everyday inspection in an easy-to-use, portable and affordable ultrasonic flaw detector. They are also ideally compatible with GE's new WeldStar girth weld inspection system, as well as the company's range of UTxx in-plant ultrasonic inspection machines. As such, the new probes will prove invaluable in the inspection of pressure vessels, piping, tubing, welds, billets, composites, axles, shafts and large plate areas.
GE Inspection Technologies is an acknowledged leader in ultrasonic transducer technology, most notably in phased array, piezo-composite and EN probes, complying with the new European standard. The company offers more than 4,000 standard and special transducer products, virtually all the parts of which are manufactured in-house. This means that GE maintains total control of the process and has the flexibility to design specific transducers to meet particular customer needs. It also means that products can be delivered with minimum turnaround time, which is very important in today's demanding industrial environment.
About GE Inspection Technologies
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