Ultrasonic inspection is a major Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) method used to assess the integrity of components in nuclear power plants. It is one of only a few methods capable of volumetrically interrogating a component, and it is therefore key to the essential maintenance schedule required to operate nuclear plant. Recent years have founded significant advances in ultrasonic technology, including the introduction of phased arrays, increased computer power and the development of innovative signal processing algorithms. These aspects can becombined to offer the potential of improving current inspection capabilities, by enhancing their efficiency and performance. Challenging inspections, such as those involving complex geometry components, would particularly benefit from such improvements. The Total Focusing Method (TFM) is now widely accepted as the gold standard of ultrasonic imaging algorithms. Despite this recognition it is yet to be widely utilised in industry, meaning that along with arrays it has essentially remained a research topic. This study aims to bring together the key elements, to contribute towards an efficient inspection for complex components. An efficient implementation of TFM incorporating an auto-correction routine to handle refraction through an arbitrary inspection surface has been developed. A bespoke sparse 2D array adds to the efficiency of the inspection, which is demonstrated on a calibration test block representative of in-service components. Furthermore, a method for determining the relative sensitivity in an inspection of complex components using TFM is formed.
|Date of Award||1 Oct 2015|
- University Of Strathclyde
|Supervisor||Anthony Gachagan (Supervisor)|