Ultrasonic Weld Inspection: an efficient and reliable technique.
Ultrasonic testing applied to weld inspection is a technique widely accepted because:
- of its ability to detect and characterise volumetric and crack defects;
- it's fast and easy to deploy in the field;
- it reduces operation downtime often associated with radiation testing (RT) safety procedures.
Every day, the ultrasonic testing technician has the important responsibility to follow the weld inspection procedures and use the associated compliant equipment. However, while the procedures are written and optimised by task groups, the ultrasonic testing technicians are often forced to make certain decisions on the go when in the field.
Managing the weld indication false calls
Unfortunately, misinterpretation due to geometric echoes or spurious indications, do occur and are difficult to deal with. Even when utilising advanced test principles such as phased array UT with acoustic representation, procedures must be followed and often experience plays a big part in the final decision to call the defect or not.
Phased array UT
Such misinterpretations are often referred to as "false-calls" in the industry, these can often lead to an overestimation of defects, defects that should be not be reported to the maintenance or repair team. As a result, the "false-calls" increase costs because of unnecessary repair, downtime and the associated costs including production lost or delivery delays.
For an ultrasonic testing technician the thought and impact of falsely identifying a defect can add pressure, and at the end may have an impact on their confidence. On the other side for a team the accumulation of "false-calls" on a job or the production floor can even reduce trust in the inspector's competence and cause tension between departments.
The ideal solution to improve weld inspector confidence
Leading the development of innovative ultrasonic testing technologies for more than 60 years, Sonatest will be launching a new solution this fall. Based on an innovative approach, this solution will significantly help the life of ultrasonic technicians by helping them to:
- focus on their acoustic by adapting the instrument to the task, not the reverse;
- report in confidence with an innovative and interactive defect localisation solution.