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Applications of Phased-array Ultrasonic Inspection

Apr. 13, 2023

As the name implies, phased-array ultrasonic testing uses multiple transducers in an array within the test probe to manipulate the input ultrasonic beam by exciting them in various sequences that can be digitally controlled. These transducers are piezoelectric materials that convert one form of energy into another for the purpose of the probe.

Sequential driving of the transducers facilitates sector, depth, and linear scanning. It can also be used in cases where conventional ultrasonic inspection (UT) is used. It can be used to inspect wall thickness profiles and weld inspections, as well as heat-affected zone (HAZ) inspections, making it versatile and viable in industries such as manufacturing, construction, petrochemical, and aerospace.

Phased-array ultrasonic inspection equipment sweeps the input ultrasonic beam across the test object and therefore detects distortions that would be missed by traditional single-beam ultrasonic inspection equipment, which produces a single directional beam.

HS PA20-Ex Multi-function Phased Array Ultrasonic Flaw Detector

 HS PA20-Ex Multi-function Phased Array Ultrasonic Flaw Detector

What is an ultrasonic B-scan?

Phased-array ultrasonic testing has been an effective method for testing materials with different thicknesses, angles, and metallurgical elements. It is different from traditional ultrasonic testing where the probe moves relative to the test material. When using PAUT as a testing and defect-finding tool, you never have to move the probe. In addition, the ultrasonic beam range between 0.5 MHz and 50 MHz is typically the standard for conventional PAUT operation using a single transducer to transmit the wave. The feedback signal is then analyzed to determine the level of defects present. PAUTs, on the other hand, deploy multiple transducers (typically between 16 and 256 individual components).

Its piezoelectric crystals are pulsed with different time delays to achieve optimal focus. This ensures that there is no need to move the probe over the test material. The focus optimization of the beam usually gets a little boost from the time delay and its geometry. The efficiency of phased-array ultrasonic inspection in quality assessment is obvious because no other inspection method can identify defects such as cracks, and inclusions, and measure the part thickness and other metallic material discontinuities in a single scan. The different scanning methods used in the PAUT process are further explained below.

 HS PA30-E Ultrasonic Phased Array Detector

HS PA30-E Ultrasonic Phased Array Detector

Electronic scanning: This scanning method does not require mechanical movement of the transducer, but requires manual inspection of the test sample after the transmission beam has passed through. This ensures a faster inspection by scanning at a fixed angle over the length of the test material.

Deep focus scanning: By scanning the sample with a single focus pulse, this scanning method ensures accurate coverage of the test sample. The focus can be adjusted at different depths of focus to achieve the best possible scan.

Segmented scanning: This method uses the law of electron delay to electronically control the ultrasonic beam transmitted through the length of the material. It has the advantage over conventional UT of using a single probe to cover all points of the sample while ensuring accurate and fast inspection.

What are the applications of phased-array ultrasonic inspection (PAUT)?

Due to its wide range of applications in various fields, usually in industrial non-destructive testing, the phased-array ultrasonic inspection method can perform any of the functions performed by conventional ultrasound. It is also suitable for non-invasive material inspection, as well as for coating and material thickness measurements. In addition, certain anomalies caused by corrosion, including cracks, voids and pits, are often easily detected using PAUT. Let's not forget adhesive mapping, which can also identify differences in material properties. Phased-array ultrasonic inspection is used as an advanced inspection method to determine the quality of rivets, as well as the inspection of interfaces and joints.

Because phased-array ultrasonic inspection has a wide range of inspection uses, it is not surprising that it is used in industries such as oil and gas, construction, and power generation. These industries use PAUTs for corrosion, welding, thickness measurements, rolling stock axles, pressure vessels and other inspections.

What products do we recommend for phased-array ultrasound inspection?

Suppliers of phased-array ultrasonic testing equipment are widely distributed around the world. However, identifying a reliable source and supplier for a valuable piece of equipment, such as that used to perform phased-array ultrasound testing, can be a headache for many. The saturation of a global market with many suppliers may be a major cause of this challenge. Therefore, we are here to recommend products that will both meet your requirements and relieve your stress.

HS PA20-Aex(Bolt)phased array ultrasonic flaw detector is a kind of bolt special detecting instrument based on phased array guide wave detection technology. The phased array ultrasonic flaw detector can realize the detection of multi-specification in-service fastening bolts, 3D bolt structure simulation function was added based on the general function of the phased array, which could display the detection results in real-time. The phased array ultrasonic flaw detector is also supported multi-mode scanning in groups and special bolt detection software.

In 1988, Zhongke Innovation adhered to the business concept of “Leading Technology, Integrity-based, High Quality and Efficiency, Progressive Innovation” to take the lead in independently researching, developing and manufacturing China's first digital ultrasonic testing equipment.

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