Auto UT Phased Array

Lightbox ImagePipe Wizard

Pipelines perform a critical function in the global economy, transporting huge volumes of gas, oil, water, and other chemicals. Pipes are girth-welded on-site, typically using automated welding systems. For construction of pipelines, welds are the "weak spot" as this is where defects tend to occur. Welds are nondestructively tested, coated, and buried or laid on the sea bed. Due to the demanding construction cycle, it is important that weld defects be detected and analyzed very quickly.

In the last several years, automated ultrasonic testing (AUT) has begun overtaking traditional radiography as the pipeline weld inspection method of choice throughout the world. Radiography has significant limitations: poor detection of planar defects, no vertical sizing capability, safety issues, and environmental concerns.

The early AUT systems used multiprobe systems with conventional ultrasonic probes. A decade ago, phased array systems became available. Phased arrays use electronic beamforming to generate and receive ultrasound. Each element in the array is individually pulsed and delayed to create a wide range of beam angles and focal distances.

PipeWIZARD allows inspections to comply with the ASTM E-1961 code, and by inference, with the API 1104 standard. It also allows compliance with the DNV-OS-F101 standard, the offshore AUT code.