Defect sizing in pipeline inspection allows companies to determine when a pipe must be replaced, avoiding costly repairs in their assets. To tackle this issue, Lamb ultrasonic waves generated through Electro-Magnetic Acoustic Transducers (EMAT) allow thickness estimation without direct contact with the surface of the metallic material under investigation. The use of this technology with a meander-line-coil allows generating waves in a directional way, which facilitates differentiating between circumferential and axial scans in Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) for pipeline inspection.
Innerspec introduced the first portable EMAT instrument for guided waves in 2012, and we are proud to announce another industry-first with VOLTA. VOLTA is a 2-channel multi-purpose portable EMAT instrument with a frequency range from 20 kHz to 8 MHz capable of running both Medium Range UT (MRUT) and Long Range UT (LRUT) applications, as well as other standard and custom EMAT applications from Innerspec (e.g. weld inspection, railhead inspection).
Innerspec launches a new line of Ultrasonic Thickness Gauges which require no liquid couplant. The new gauges use non-contact Electro Magnetic Acoustic Transducer (EMAT) and Dry-Coupled Ultrasonic Testing (DCUT) technology to provide thickness measurement on materials ranging from 1mm to 1m (0.040” to 40”) with an accuracy of +/-2.54µm (+/-0.0001”). The non-contact EMAT ultrasonic technique permits one-side measurements at temperatures ranging from -30ºC to 650ºC (-22ºF-1202ºF), making it ideal for process control in production environments. New compact instrumentation is housed in a small industrial enclosure located near the point of inspection and sends measurements wirelessly or via Ethernet to any device connected using a regular browser. The instrument can also be integrated with a robot, PLC, and other devices for automated decision-making based on measurement results.
After five years of rapid and continuous expansion, we are happy to announce that Innerspec Technologies Europe has moved to a new facility in Madrid (Spain). The new office is located in Loeches (Madrid), conveniently located 20 minutes from Madrid-Barajas airport and 30 minutes from downtown Madrid by car. Have a look at our new office here:
Corrosion detection becomes especially challenging when a section of the object being inspected is buried, covered, or coated, as the frequent presence of moisture and chemicals in the non-accessible areas can aggravate the degradation process. Due to that reason the investigation of inaccessible areas e.g. lamp posts inspection becomes a matter of vital importance. The loss in metal thickness caused by corrosion can cause sudden failure and significant damage to people and surrounding property.
Innerspec Technologies in collaboration with the University of Alcalá de Henares is accomplishing a research chair on Modeling and Advanced Signal Processing of ultrasounds. The purpose of this chair is to investigate defect sizing capabilities using EMAT guided waves.
The braking process used on railroad cars is known to create tensile stresses in the circumferential direction due to the thermal expansion and subsequent cooling of the wheel rim. The presence of tensile residual stresses can contribute to, and are often the main cause of fatigue failure and cracking.
Innerspec Technologies in partnership with WHEMCO has developed a new roll inspection system that permits inspection of rolls of any alloy, forged and cast, with unparalleled performance and capabilities.
Innerspec, the global leader in EMAT technology, and Tecnatom, the global leader in Piezoelectric UT and Eddy Current instrumentation, announced the official launch of their joint venture Farfield NDT. Combining Innerspec’s and Tecnatom’s complementing expertise, Farfield is a huge asset to any company needing NDT solutions. The mission of Farfield is to contribute to the safety and economic effectiveness of industrial facilities and infrastructure by providing advanced knowledge and expertise in non-destructive testing.
The United States consumes an incredible amount of energy every day, and this demand for energy shows no signs of decreasing. The U.S. pipeline infrastructure is critical to supporting this growing demand. We take a look at this infrastructure and break down some of the facts including age, material, miles and production.
Cars, we rely on them to get us from point A to point B on a daily basis. Through the years, car manufacturers have been driven to create a faster, safer and more economical vehicle to keep up with competition. One of the issues the automotive industry faced was how to reduce the weight of the car while increasing the strength to protect drivers involved in accidents. The solution was Tailor Welded Blanks.
Corrosion and cracking present problems for every industry that relies on pipelines to transport liquid and gas products. There are many different kinds of techniques and equipment used for examining pipelines. These vary based on specific needs, access restrictions, and environmental conditions. In the last few years, electromagnetic acoustic transducer (EMAT) has come to prominence for its ability to quickly scan exposed pipelines for corrosion, cracks, and other defects using medium-range guided waves and without the requirement for liquid couplants. Recent sensor and technique developments have now enhanced these capabilities to reliably inspect inaccessible or difficult to access areas for corrosion, such as the undersides of pipe supports and pipes with heavy coatings.
Electric resistance welding (ERW) is a process for creating spot or seam welds by using the electrical resistance of a material, combined with time and the force used to hold the materials together during welding. While ERW is a beneficial method for producing forged welds, the process is not perfect. Typical defects that can develop in the ERW process are:
In the realm of science, corrosion has been the subject of study for more than 150 years. It occurs naturally when a material (typically metal) or its properties deteriorate due to a reaction with its environment. The latest estimates by the World Corrosion Organization place the annual cost of corrosion worldwide at around $2.2 trillion USD, which is over 3% of the world GDP. While there are many types of corrosion and corrosion can form on many structures and in many areas, this discussion is focused on energy pipeline corrosion. There are currently over 2 million miles of oil and gas pipelines in the United States alone. These pipelines are important because they supply the fuel needed to power our communities and economies. They are the energy lifeline that sustains our nations, but they are vulnerable.
There are many techniques used to perform thickness measurements in manufacturing environments. Traditional thickness measurement options include Isotope, X-Ray, Laser Optical, Piezo Ultrasonic, and Laser Ultrasonic. An effective, yet underutilized technique is EMAT (Electro Magnetic Acoustic Transducer) generated UT. EMAT generates ultrasonic sound waves in the material being inspected and measures the Time-Of-Flight (TOF) of the signal through the part to calculate the thickness.
The Medium Range UT (MRUT) system was developed to decrease the amount of time it takes to inspect pipelines while also providing a full volumetric inspection and maintaining highly sensitive defect detection capabilities. This system harnesses the use of Electro Magnetic Acoustic Transducer (EMAT) technology which gives the MRUT distinct advantages over other inspection methods. Why choose the MRUT system with EMAT technology?
The conversion of electrical pulses to mechanical vibrations and the conversion of returned mechanical vibrations back into electrical energy is the basis for ultrasonic testing (UT). Although there are non-contact options available for some applications (e.g. EMAT), the most widely used technique involves using a piezoelectric element to generate the ultrasound. Due to the impedance mismatch between the piezoelectric transducer and the material inspected, a liquid couplant is typically used to transmit the vibrations from the transducer into the part and receive the vibrations back into the transducer. While this technique is very efficient and popular, liquid couplants used for ultrasonic inspection have some inherent limitations and disadvantages. The liquid couplant itself is sensitive to extreme weather conditions, can be harmful to the part and environment, can make some inspections cumbersome or impossible, and their use and disposal can be expensive. An alternative method to using liquid couplant is Dry-Coupled Ultrasonic Testing (DCUT).
Innerspec is introducing a hardware and software upgrade for their PowerBox H, the first high-power portable EMAT instrument in the market, to improve its MRUT (Medium Range UT) application. The MRUT technique uses guided waves with a typical inspection range between 0.1m (4”) and 5m (200”) to detect corrosion, cracks and discontinuities on tubes, gas lines, oil pipelines and storage tanks. This system uses Electro Magnetic Acoustic Transducer (EMAT) technology to perform fast scanning on exposed tubes and tanks as well as inspect inaccessible areas from a fixed position. With the use of higher frequencies and a shorter range, this technique detects isolated pitting and wall loss with up to 10 times better resolution than Long Range UT systems.
Readers were previously introduced to some of the practical advantages of EMAT Ultrasonic Testing (UT) in the March/April 2013 and July/August 2013 issues of Inspectioneering Journal. These advantages include dry inspection, an imperviousness to surface conditions, and unique wave modes such as shear waves with horizontal polarization (SH waves). In this article, I will cover the practical advantages of EMAT for in-service applications using Medium Range Ultrasonic Testing (MRUT).
We are pleased to announce that our MRUT (Medium Range UT) hand-held scanner and Innerspec PowerBox H instrument have successfully passed several qualification tests in North America and the Middle East, and it is now standard equipment for corrosion detection by most oil majors. The Innerspec PowerBox H is the first portable, battery-operated instrument that can run EMAT (bulk and guided waves) and conventional piezoelectric transducers. This system complements our automated MRUT system which has been in the market since 2008.