The Benefits and Applications of Phased Array (PAUT)creative44
We don’t shout loud enough about our Phased Array offer without getting into the real technicalities. These last 12 months have seen an increase in demand from customers for Phased Array (PAUT) and we have been using it more extensively than ever on boiler tube inspections.
As a result, we’ve added to our equipment inventory by investing in more Olympus Omniscan phased array flaw detectors, probes, bracelets, wedges, and calibration blocks.
Although you can apply PAUT to lots of situations where more traditional forms of NDT are currently used, PAUT is represented best in the detection of defects in hard-to-reach places and for parts with three-dimensional, or complex designs.
PAUT probes are comprised of multiple elements which can be independently activated to focus and sweep the beam, to detect anomalies without needing to move the probe, getting into those hard-to-reach places and you can sweep from multiple angles on complex shapes and from a single probe to greatly increase the probability of detection. The other key point to remember is that the system is generally faster than other NDT techniques, saving time and money.
We recently completed a boiler tube inspection where the PAUT system detected damage, although it was modest, it was actively growing within hard-to-reach corner tubes, which would have led to certain failure at some point.
As the problem with the corner tubes was suspected, we produced a custom-made reference specimen representing the suspected defects which was cracking within the internal diameter of the corner tubes.
We then applied this in the field, the system identified the problems accurately. To further corroborate the findings the damaged tube sections were cut out and subjected to radiography. The findings were conclusive – PAUT was accurately picking up the defects.
The upshot of this is that firstly and most importantly, a failure has been avoided, which would have meant significant downtime and financial loss. It also negates the need for radiography (in this case) and the associated issues with that technique.
If you don’t know too much about the benefits and applications of Phased Array, or need to know more, please give us a call.