Improving UT weld inspection confidence by utilising specifically developed tools

A Akhlaghi, F Lachance and P Rioux 

In the current global inspection and testing sector, ultrasonic flaw detectors are being utilised for a much broader range of applications, serving industries from oil & gas to aerospace and automotive.

Still today, the amount of training required to use ultrasonic testing (UT) test equipment is significant, as usage often appears complex to the inspector, making the inspection execution longer and prone to errors. Offering specifically designed tools, developed to accomplish a precise task in the simplest manner can then become a great asset, supporting existing standardised procedures and guidelines.

The latest electronics and software advancements can offer additional possibilities to greatly improve the upcoming flaw detectors. Newly designed instruments are being specifically developed to help the operator to maintain the integrity of the inspection, where complex settings and calibration procedures are managed seamlessly behind an interactive user interface.

Simplified software tools combined with an interactive user interface can help the inspection and testing industry achieve a new level of confidence as training is concentrated on the actual application scenarios, rather than the operation of instruments. Furthermore, national and international traceability can be achieved when compliance to the standards and guidelines are predefined automatically by the instrument’s intelligent algorithm.

This presentation briefly highlights the general physics of ultrasonic inspection, data visualisation and flaw characterisation to help identify the main supplementary factors implemented for improving the inspection confidence on the latest flaw detectors currently available.