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NDT.net Issue - 2010-12 - NEWS

GE's Phasor XS Provides a 24 Carat Solution


GE Sensing & Inspection Technologies GmbH303, Hürth [Germany]
NEWS  
NDT.net Journal
Issue: 2010-12

Fast and Comprehensive Validation of Gold Bars

A Phasor XS phased array ultrasonic flaw detector from GE’s Inspection Technologies business, is being used by GoldMoney, one of the world’s largest providers of physical bullion, to test the purity of the gold stored for its customers. This is an initiative taken by GoldMoney to assure further peace of mind for their customers for a product which is already stringently assessed for integrity.

GoldMoney uses the internet to purchase gold, silver and platinum on-line and it then stores these precious metals on behalf of its customers in specialised bullion vaults in London, Zurich and Hong Kong. Through regular inventory audits and a transparent chain of integrity, GoldMoney guarantees that only the highest quality gold is purchased and stored. The introduction of state-of-the-art ultrasonic inspection will now verify the purity of every single stored gold bar.

Alan Hunscott, Technical Support Manager of GE’s Inspection Technologies product line, explains how the equipment works, “Our Phasor XS uses phased array ultrasonics, the same technology as that used in medical diagnosis and foetal scanning. This relies on the computer-controlled excitation of each element in a multi-element probe to produce a focused, steerable, ultrasound beam. As a result, a single phased array probe, with say 64 elements can perform those inspection tasks normally requiring large numbers of conventional probes or multiple scanning passes. First of all this means that scanning is faster and the possibility of detection is much greater. However, perhaps the greatest benefit in this application is the presentation of the image. Unlike conventional ultrasonic images which are difficult to interpret, phased array produces simple images which are readily understood even by laymen with the minimum of training.”

The inspection regime was introduced in July 2010 and so far one third of the company’s bullion stock has been scanned. Testing of the remainder is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2011. As Geoff Turk, CEO of GoldMoney says, “Our customers need every assurance that their gold bars contain only gold. Destructive examination is not an option but this ultrasonic non-destructive testing method has proved effective, efficient and fast. By working with first class partners in the precious metal industry and by using the latest GE technology to verify integrity and purity, GoldMoney is setting new standards for quality.”

GE Sensing & Inspection Technologies GmbH

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