Robotic ultrasonic testing of AGR fuel cladding

Maxim Morozov, S. Gareth Pierce, Gordon Dobie, Gary T. Bolton , Thomas Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
98 Downloads (Pure)


The purpose of the presented work was to undertake experimental trials to demonstrate the potential capabilities of a novel in-situ robotic ultrasonic scanning technique for measuring and monitoring loss of the cladding wall thickness in fuel pins of Advanced Gas-cooled Reactors using non-radioactive samples. AGR fuel pins are stainless steel cylindrical ribbed pipes of inner diameter of the rod being about 15 mm and wall thickness of about 300μm. Spent AGR fuel pins are stored in a water pond and thus may be prone to corrosion and stress-corrosion cracking under adverse conditions. An ultrasonic immersion transducer with central frequency of 25MHz was used to measure wall thickness of the AGR fuel cladding. The novelty of the approach consists in the usage of a frequency domain technique to measure the wall thickness combined with cylindrical ultrasonic scanning of the samples performed using an industrial robotic manipulator. The frequency domain approach could detect wall thicknesses in the range 96μm to 700μm with a resolution of about 10μm. In addition to the frequency domain measurements, using conventional time domain techniques, it was possible to detect very short (2.5mm long) and shallow (100μm in depth) crack-like defects in the fuel cladding.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalCase Studies in Nondestructive Testing and Evaluation
Early online date13 Aug 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Aug 2016


  • ultrasonic immersion transducer
  • fuel cladding
  • frequency domain technique
  • robot positional inaccuracy
  • industrial robotic arm
  • advanced gas-cooled reactors
  • AGR
  • robotic ultrasonic scanning


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  • Robotic ultrasonic testing of AGR fuel cladding

    Morozov, M., Pierce, S. G., Dobie, G., Bolton, G. T. & Bennett, T., 12 Sep 2016, 55th Annual Conference of The British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing NDT-2016. Northampton, 11 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

    Open Access

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