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Focused Dual Angle Beam Design Discussion

Ultrasonic inspection is frequently used to detect defects and degradation in structures during manufacturing, maintenance, and in service operation. Traditionally, the inspection is performed using a single transducer either manually or with a robotic scanning unit. As regulations become increasingly demanding regarding scope and frequency of testing critical components, NDT professionals are challenged by problems including limited access, complex geometries, and harsh environments-making manual or robotic scanning difficult if not impossible. A remotely operated flexible ultrasonic transducer array represents an innovative and cost effective solution to many of the problems associated with ultrasonic inspection of complex or hard to access components. The ultrasonic array is applicable to a wide variety of materials and structures for which ultrasound is the appropriate nondestructive test (NDT) method. Employing a vacuum coupling technique, the flexible array provides the unique ability to conform to complex curved surfaces. Because flexible ultrasonic arrays are lightweight, portable and easy to use, they are particularly well suited to field inspection applications. Promising applications of the ultrasonic array include; composites, which are formed into complex shapes to satisfy difficult design criteria, complex piping systems (including T's and elbows), and pipelines. For example, a flexible ultrasonic array can be permanently attached (under insulation) to high velocity piping systems to continuously monitor wall thinning resulting from flow-assisted corrosion. The device can be used to periodically or continuously monitor the condition of the pipe in harsh environments, such as radiation areas, without manual application. Because the array elements are at fixed locations, the inspection results can always be displayed as easy to interpret C-scan images. Significant benefits of the flexible array include ease of use, rapid and automated application and continuous remote scanning.



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