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Non-Rotating Single Element Ultrasonic Probe for Tube Inspection

Practical efficient UT inspection to improve technical and financial benefits
Background and Objective
Ultrasonic (UT) testing of different tubes from within is a commonly used method of inspection. Various techniques and inspection systems are employed for tube examination. However, sometimes there are serious problems with complex delivery systems and inspection time due to the necessity to provide 100% volumetric coverage of the tube by rotating the probe module. The ability to perform the UT inspection without mechanical rotation of a probe module leads to significant simplification of the delivery system and decreases the inspection time, due to an increase in the axial speed of the inspection system.
Scope of Work
Different concepts can be used to achieve this goal:

A normal beam tube-like single-element probe covering simultaneously 360o. This probe does not need rotation; it should be moved only axially. Any flaw will reflect UT wave, which returns to the probe. As a result, the flaw will be detected, and 360o of the tube will be covered simultaneously.


A similar cone-like single-element angle probe oriented at an angle in axial direction.


The same solutions can be achieved using a standard axially-positioned single-element probe with attached conical mirror.


Work Performed
Prototypes of different UTsingle-element transducers were developed by Kinectrics and deployed for experimental inspection of various tubes. These non-rotating single-element UT probes can be used with a standard UT pulser-receiver and software.
During inspections employing these probes, various flaws, different in shape (pits and notches), position (inside and outside tube surfaces) and orientation (axial, circumferential and angle), were reliably detected and accurately sized.
Client Benefits
The ability to perform UT inspection of tubes without mechanical rotation of the probe module is very attractive because it leads to significant technical and financial benefits: 


  1. Significant simplification of the delivery system.
  2. A decrease in the inspection time due to an increase of the axial speed of the inspection system.
  3. Increased reliability and sensitivity of the inspection system due to the absence of mechanical vibrations, possible jams,  and electromagnetic interference from rotary motors, etc