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TRUSTIE Axial Crack Inspection

An Enhanced Capability for Ultrasonic Inspection of Steam Generator Tubing
Tiny Rotating UltraSonic Tube Inspection Equipment (TRUSTIE™) is a high resolution ultrasonic imaging system specialized for small diameter tubing inspection.  It was originally developed by Kinectrics (previously Ontario Hydro Technologies) in the 1990s. Since its invention, TRUSTIE™ has been successfully deployed in many CANada Deuterium Uranium (CANDU) reactor inspection programs. Its unique capability in flaw detection, sizing and characterization has played an important role in the life cycle management of steam generators.
TRUSTIE™ provides a range of inspection modalities for various flaw types. Recent Operating Experience (OPEX) indicates that axial cracking is an active degradation mechanism in Steam Generator (SG) tubes. There is an urgent need to develop a highly sensitivity ultrasonic inspection technique for early detection of axially oriented cracks in SG tubes.
Technical Solution
A new ultrasonic shear wave probe was developed to meet the inspection requirement for axial oriented cracks. The new probe is compatible with the existing TRUSTIE™ hardware and provides a cost-effective solution. The axial crack inspection probe features a high frequency, high resolution, large depth of field and high flaw detection sensitivity.
In order to obtain an optimum response from an axially-oriented crack or crack-like flaw, the ultrasonic beam is oriented with a designed incident angle at the Inner Diameter (ID) surface of the tube to generate a refracted shear wave inside the tube wall. The shear wave propagates in the direction with an optimum angle to the tube surface and produces a strong signal response from an axially- oriented crack. In order to overcome the difficulty due to the space limitation inside a small diameter tube, special mirrors are utilized to fold the beam path to achieve the desired sound field characteristics.
The probe can be used for inspecting axially-oriented crack located on ID, Outer Diameter (OD) and mid-wall areas. The probe design is applicable to various SG tube materials and sizes in CANDU reactors.  
Client Benefits
TRUSTIE™ provides a unique quality system for steam generator tube inspection as required by CSA N285.4-05. The axial crack inspection probe will provide an enhanced capability to the utilities and inspection service providers to meet the CSA requirement. The enhanced inspection capability will also be valuable to Fitness-for-Service Assessment and Life Cycle Management programs.