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TABLE

OF

CONTENTS

BASIC PRINCIPLES

 

UTl

Introduction to the bas ic concept

UTI-1

The

nature ofsound

UT l -1

The

acoustic spectrum

UTI-2

TOE PROPAGATION OF SOUND

UT2

The ultrasonic beam

UT2- l

Side lobes

UT2 -3

The ultrasonic pulse

UT2-3

Resolution

UT2-5

Pul se repetition frequency (PRF)

UT2-5

Modes of propagation

UT2-6

Boundary wave s

UT2- 7

Fac tor s affecting the propagation of ultrasound

UT2-8

Acoustic impedance

UT2-8

Couplant

UTI-9

Attenuation

UT2-9

The

decibel

(dB)

UT2-IO

SOUND GENERATION

UT3

The

piezo electr ic effect

UTJ-1

Reflection, refraction and Snell ' s law

UT3-2

Mode conversion

UT3-3

Diffraction

UT3-3

Critical angles

UT3-4

EQUIPMENT

 

UT4

 

Probes

UT4- I

Probe

frequency , bandwidth and damping

UT4-4

Probe

se lection

U'f4 -5

The ultrasonic flaw d etec tor (flow diagram of a typical A-scan flaw detector)

UT4-6

Calibration blocks and their uses

UT4-8

0° compression probe uses

UT4-8

Shear probe uses

UT4-9

Block no.2 , A4, V2, DrN54/ 122 or kidney block

UT4-9

Compression probe uses

UT4-9

Shear probe uses

UT4-9

Institute of We lding (IOW)/A5 block

UT4-10

Equipment checks 0° PROBE SCANNING

UT4- l 0 UTS

Ca libration

UTS-1

To calibrate a 0° probe to a range ofO to 100 mm

UTS-1

Calibration exercises

UTS-2

Accurate measurement

UTS

-2

Multiple back wa ll method

UTS

-3

Defect detection

UTS-3

0 Ru on< & T P O 'l'o' dU

 

Ruane & II TP O'Neill

Issue 6

Ol/03/IIS

TABLE

Of CONTENTS

Sensitivity

 

UT5-3

G raphs and DAC c urves

UTS-4

Scanning patte rns 0° probe

UT5-5

Sizing methods 0° probe

UT5-5

ANGLE PROBE SC ANNIN G

 

UT 6

Ca librati on

 

UT6- I

Ang le probes test

sens itiv ity

UT6-2

Scanning patterns

UT6-3

Skip factors

.UT6-4

The

ratio of the sides of the triangles in the three most common probe angles

UT6 -5

The

irradiation fac

UT6-5

Plotting syste ms

 

UT6-5

Siz ing

methods ang le probes

UT6-6

TESTING TECHNIQUES

testing

 

UT7

A, B & C scann ing

 

UT7- l

Pulse echo systems

UT7-2

Through transm ission

UT 7-2

The tande m tec hniq ue

UT7-3

Imn1ers ion testin g

.UTI-3

ULTRASONI C THIC KNESS SURVEYING

 

UT8

Accept/rej ec t criteria

 

UT8-2

Reporting

UT 8-2

ULTRASONIC WRO UGHT PLATE T E STING

 

UT9

Technique

:

.UT9- l

Defects in plate mate ria l

UT9-2

ULTRASO NIC WELD TESTING

UTlO

Technique

.UTl0 - 1

De fe ct signa l interpretation

UT

l 0-3

ULTRASONIC TESTING OF FORGINGS

UT l l

Genera l Technique Defects in forgings Accept and reject cr iteria Re porting

UTll -1 UTl l- 1 UT li- 2 UT 11 -4 .UT 11-4

U L TRASONIC T ESTING OF CASTINGS

UT12

Genera l Technique

UT1 2- 1 UT12- 1

Defects in castings

UT\2-2

Accept and reject criteria

UT12-5

Re porting

UT1

2-5

BRITISH ST ANDARDS

APPENDIX A

Br itish Standard s re la ting to ultrasonic testing FORMULAE USED IN ULTRASONIC TESTING

APPA - 1 APPENDIX B

C Ruan< & T P O'i'itill

6 01103105

Ruane & II

TP O'Neill

TABLE OF CONTE~TS

TABLE OF ACOUSTICAL VELOCITIE S

Table of acoustica l velocities in different material s

TABLE OF ACO USTIC IMPEDANCES

Table of acoustic impedan ces for different materials

ATTENUATION FACTOR

Example method for determi ni ng the attenua tion fac tor of a material

EXAMPLE CALC ULATIONS

Example calc u lations used in ultrasonics

C Ru• n• & T P O' Neill

APPE NDIX C

APPC-1

APPENDIX D

APPD-1

APPENDIX E

APPE- l

APPE NDIX F

APPF- 1

Ruane & II

T P O'Neill

Ruane & II

TPO 'Nei/1

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Note 1: Modern digitaljlaw 4 0 detectors use more recent display technologies such as plasma or LCD screens.

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Note 2: 1he echo at A I is the result ofsowul energy reflecting back of!thefront surface ofthe specimen together with the ringing of the crystal and the initial pulse all merged into one signal envelop e.

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UNIT UTl · BASIC PRINCIPLES

BASIC PRINCIPLES

INTRODUCTION TO THE BASIC CONCEPT

The most common technique used in ultrasonic testing is the pulse echo teclmique. This makes use of the phenomenon that sound waves travel in stmight lines and are reflected by an obstacle placed in their path.

The mechanism is just the same as audible sound waves bouncing off a brick wall and

an echo being received . The strength of the echo is controlled by the size of the wall. Also, if the time lapse between sending and receiving the sound is measured, it is possible to determine the distance to the wall.

Given the required instrumentation we can pass sound waves through solid materials and receive echoes from the back wall of the material. If a defect is present in the material then the sound energy would be reflected back from it and give an echo earlier

than that from the back wall because the sound has not travelled as far. The strength or amplitude of this echo will be an indication of the size of the defect and the distance travelled by the sound will tell us its depth.

This then is the basis of ultrasonic testing.

The instrument that produces the sound energy is called the probe and the echoes are shown on a cathode ray tube 1 (CRT) within a flaw detector.

on a cathode ray tube 1 (CRT) within a flaw detector. Probe Sound waves V '

Probe

a cathode ray tube 1 (CRT) within a flaw detector. Probe Sound waves V ' v

Sound waves

V'v

.A.

'-:/v v ·'il

,A ,

A

B

y'y

c

CRT

 

<;::1

'

Al

 

I'.: :.: :

'

.

 

.

:.

 
 

·

 

·

:

·

Bl ·

 

:

·

\' --

-

-

 

. -

.

.

.

r

0

I

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Sound energy is transmitted from the probe into the test specimen at surface "A" producing an echo at Al 2 Some of the sound is reflected by the defect at "B" and the resulting echo appears at BI. The remainder of the sound continues through the specimen to be reflected by the back wall "C", the echo from the back wall appearing

at Cl.

If the screen is calibrated from a test block of known thickness then the depth of the defect from the specimen surface (A to B) can be read off the screen.

THE NATURE OF SOUND

Sound is caused by mechanical vibrations.

In order for sound to pass there must be a medium that will support mechanical vibrations therefore SOUND CANNOT TRAVEL IN A VACUUM.

The particles (molecules) within the medium vibrate passing on energy from one to another giving the effect of sound movement through the material.

0 Ruon• & T P O'N•IIi

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The density and elasticity of

n medium are also the main factors 1hn1 affect/he velocity.

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Note: Velocity is someJimes denoted by rhe feller 'c ·.

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Note · The maximum

frequency the human e ar 80 ca11 detec/ reduces wilh age.

It is generally accepted that

most people will have heard all the high frequency sounds that they are liable to encoumer by the time they reach ten years ofage.

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lJ~IT l!Tl ·BASIC PRI:'\iCIPLES

The ability to support sound depends on the elasticity and density of the medium. Since these properties will vary, from one material to another, some materials will pass sound more easily than others.

Sound follows a waveform:

+

sound more easily than others. Sound follows a waveform: + Wavelength f------li-----+-----+----+-----+-----+Time/djstan
sound more easily than others. Sound follows a waveform: + Wavelength f------li-----+-----+----+-----+-----+Time/djstan

Wavelength

easily than others. Sound follows a waveform: + Wavelength f------li-----+-----+----+-----+-----+Time/djstan cc One
easily than others. Sound follows a waveform: + Wavelength f------li-----+-----+----+-----+-----+Time/djstan cc One

f------li-----+-----+----+-----+-----+Time/djstan cc

f------li-----+-----+----+-----+-----+Time/djstan cc One cvclc VELOCITY WAVELENGTH PERIOD FREQUENCY is the
f------li-----+-----+----+-----+-----+Time/djstan cc One cvclc VELOCITY WAVELENGTH PERIOD FREQUENCY is the

One cvclc

VELOCITY

WAVELENGTH

PERIOD

FREQUENCY

is the distance moved in unit rime

is the distance between successive peaks of a wave

is the time taken for one complete cycle

is the number of cycles per second

l cycle per second

1 Hertz (Hz)

I Kilohertz (KHz)

1,000 Hz

I Megahertz (MHz)

=

1,000,000 Hz

Wavelength

Wavelength is a function of frequency and velocity.

Wavelength=

Th ere fore :

v

=

Velocity

Frequency

f

x A.

or

and

f

--

v

THE ACOUSTIC SPECTRUM

Manual contact testing range

Steels •

Infrasonic

Sonic (audible)

Ultrasonic

JMHz

SMHz

o n i c ( a u d i b l e ) Ultrasonic JMHz SMHz
o n i c ( a u d i b l e ) Ultrasonic JMHz SMHz
o n i c ( a u d i b l e ) Ultrasonic JMHz SMHz
o n i c ( a u d i b l e ) Ultrasonic JMHz SMHz
o n i c ( a u d i b l e ) Ultrasonic JMHz SMHz
o n i c ( a u d i b l e ) Ultrasonic JMHz SMHz
o n i c ( a u d i b l e ) Ultrasonic JMHz SMHz
o n i c ( a u d i b l e ) Ultrasonic JMHz SMHz
o n i c ( a u d i b l e ) Ultrasonic JMHz SMHz

16Hz

20KHz

500KHz

25MHz

+-Normal test range-.

~ Rune 8t T P O'N<ill

unot 6 OZ/OJ/0~

UTI-2

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:\ OTES

to

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Kfactors:

Extreme (0% intensity) edge= 1.22 50% edge/6 dB = 0.56

10% edge/20 dB 1.08

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V:\IT lJT2 ·THE PROPAGATIO:\ OF SOL'~D

THE PROPAGATION OF SOUND

THE ULTRASONIC BEAM

crystal

THE PROPAGATION OF SOUND THE ULTRASONIC BEAM crystal -------------------------------- far zone dead z.one b e

--------------------------------

ULTRASONIC BEAM crystal -------------------------------- far zone dead z.one b e a m e d g e

far zone

dead z.one

-------------------------------- far zone dead z.one b e a m e d g e ~-+-----------+ near 7-<>ne

beam edge

~-+-----------+

near 7-<>ne

b~c~~e

(100% intensity)

beam edge

(0% intensity)

The dead zone

Seen on the CRT as an extension of the initial pulse, the dead zone is the ringing time of the crystal and is minimised by the damping medium behind the crystal. Flaws or other reflectors, lying in the dead zone region of the beam will not be detected. The

dead zone can be seen at the start of the trace on a CRT displaying A-scan, bu t on ly with single crystal probes.

The dead zone mcreases when the probe frequency decreases

The near or fresnel zone

In this region of the beam, the sound intens ity is variable owing to wave interference, therefore, reflectors or flaws lying in this zone may appear sma ll er or larger than their actual size. The signal heights displayed on the CRT are unpredictable so it is desirable to keep the near zone length to a minimum.

The near zone length can be calculated using the following formula:

Where:

D 2

Near zone length (mm) = -

4

-t

D 2 x

f

or -- ---

4

X

V

D = crystal diameter (mm) A. = wavelength (mm)

f

=probe frequency (Hz)

v

=test material velocity (nunls)

It can be seen from the fommla that the near :rone can be decreased by decreasmg the Ct) 1 stal dtameter or decreasmg the probe frequency

The far or fraunhoffer zone

In the far zone the beam diverges resulting

j ust as a

beam of light from a torch gets weaker the further it travels.

The amount of beam divergence depends upon the crystal size and the wavelength as shown in the following formula:

Beyond the near zone the far zone exists.

in a decay in sound intensity as the distance from the crystal is increased,

B

KA.

S m =-or

.

D

_K_x_v

D

X

f

Where:

B

K

/

the half angle

D

crystal diameter (mm)

a constant

f

probe frequency (Hz)

wavelength (mm)

v

material velocity (mm/s)

0 Ruano & T P O'Ntlll bouc 6 02/ 03/0S

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U~IT UT2 ·THE PROPAGATIO:\ OF SOU~D

It may be seen from the above beam spread formula, that the beam divergence can be decreased by increasing the crystal diameter or by increasing the probe frequency . Unfortunately this will extend the length of the near zone. So in probe design there is a compromise to obtain a minimal beam spread and a short near zo ne.

beam extreme edge

beam spread and a short near zo ne. beam extreme edge 0 % i n t

0% intensity 10% inte nsity edge

( F~~~~~~~~~~~~~=======~50% intensity edge

beam centre 100% intensity

crystal

intensity edge beam centre 100% intensity crystal beam extreme edge 50% intensity edge 10% intensity edge

beam extreme edge

50% intensity edge

10% intensity edge 0% intensity

In the far zone of the ultrasonic beam there is no wave interference therefore the sound

intensity in this zone

The sou nd intensity reduces from 100% in the centre to 0% at the edge of the beam ,

therefore when the centre of the beam hits a reflector/flaw the amplitude of the signal on the CRT will be at its maximum.

The sound intensity will also decrease with a greater distance (in the range axis) to a reflector or flaw.

In the far zone the amplitudes of reflected sound from large and small reflectors follow different Jaws.

LARGE REFLECTORS {larger than the width of the ultrasonic beam ) follow the INVERSE LAW - The amplitude is inversely proportional to the distance, i. e. if the

distance is doubled then the signal amplitude is halved (i.e

SMALL REFLECTORS (smaller than the width of the beam) follow the INVERSE SQUARE LAW - The amplitude is inversely proportional to the square of the distance, i.e. if the distance is doubled then the amplitude from the second reflector is one quarter of the amplitude of the nearer (12dB less).

is pred ictable.

reduced by 6dB).

Large refledors

01

less). is pred ictable. reduced by 6dB). Large refledors 01       ··- -· ."
   
   
 

··-

-· ."

 
  ··- -· ."    
 

'

AI

     

·.·

 

·.·

:

 

.

.

.

-:- ·: ·lt'2   -

-:-

·: ·lt'2

 

-

 

I

.

0

I

2

3

4

S

6

7

8

9

 

A2 = 1ll

X

Al

02

10

Small reflectors

01

01   02
 

02

 

·-

 

·

-··

     

-·-

 

.Acl

 
   

.-

-

- - .- -

 

-

' -

-. - .:

•••

-

0

 

0

.

 

A.:)

 
 

:

:

:

0

1

2

3

4

s

6

7

8

9

A2 = ru'

02'

x AI

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II) Ruanr & T P O'Neill

Issue 6 Ol/03/0S

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Ruane & II TP O'Neill

'Ol'f:S

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UNIT t;T2 ·THE PROPAGATIO~ OF SOt;ND

SIDE LOBES

Side lobes are secondary lobes to the primary ultrasonic beam or main lobe that are formed at the face of a transducer and radiate away from the ma in lobe. They

represent areas of high and low acoustic intensities and may cause unwanted echoes to be received by the probe, especially on rough surfaces, which may be mistaken for flaws on the CRT.

For shear wave probes, the minimum refracted beam angle in steel is approximately

33° to 35°, but at these relative ly acute angles,

although usually negligib le, may cause spurious indication s on the CRT. For this reason it is usually safer to set the minimum beam angle for shear wave probes in steel at 40°.

side lobes may be formed which,

The narrower the main lobe, i.e. the smaller the half-angle of the beam, the weaker and more numerous the side lobes.

crystal

the weaker a nd more numerous the side lobes. crystal primary beam or main lobe THE

primary beam or main lobe

THE ULTRASONIC PULSE

In a modem ultrasonic pulse echo flaw detector the pulse of ultrasound is created by charging a capacitor in the circuitry then s uddenly releasing this charge of electrical energy, about lK v to 2Kv, into the probe. This electrical energy is converted into a mechanical vibration by the piezo electric crystal in the probe. The ultrasonic

vibrations are formed by the collapse of the crystal after the electrical energy has been

removed. The behaviour of the crystal, on collapse, can be likened to the behaviour of

a spring when it is stretched then released . The spring will return to its former shape then s horten then stretch, etc., until it finally co mes to rest in its origin al shape . This cycle of expansion and contraction is what forms the u ltrasonic pulse.

Maximum

expansion

is what forms the u ltrasonic pulse. Maximum expansion Maximum contraction 0 Ruon• & T P

Maximum

contraction

0 Ruon• & T P O'N•Ul

I Mua h UJ /11.4/ U~

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Ruane & II

UNIT l.JT2 ·THE PROPAGATION OF SOUND

TPO'Nei/1

II UNIT l.JT2 ·THE PROPAGATION OF SOUND TPO'Nei/1 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80

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Pulse length

This length of pulse is unacceptable since in order to show separate, clear reflected signals on the CRT then the pulses of sound must be short and sharp. To shorten the

pulses the ultrasonic crystal must be damped with a backing medium which absorbs the sound energy (in much same way as a shock absorber fitted to a spring on a motor vehicle dampens the vibration of the suspension). In this way the pulse length can be reduced to between 3 and 5 cycles.

Amplitude

Damped pulse
Damped pulse

The ideal pulse length would be approximately two cycles but such levels of damping are difficult to achieve with conventional backing mediums and commercially available crystals.

DAMPTNG, then controls PULSE LENGTIL(the nw1;1ber of cycles x wave1englh).

The other factor that controls pulse length is probe frequency. The higher the

frequency the shorter the wavelength, i.e. the length of each cycle in the pulse and hence the shorter the pulse length (containing the same number of cycles).

PULSE LENGTH controls RESOLUTION.

0 Ruane & T P O'N<IU Issue 6 02103105

UT2-4

Ruane & II

UNIT UT2 ·THE PROP:\GATIO~ OF SOUND

TPO 'Nei/1

'OTE S

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Note: P.R. F. is sometimes calletltimebase frequency.

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RESOLUTION

Resolution is the ability to separate on the timebase two or more reflectors that are close together in terms of beam path length.

Consider two reflectors within the beam with a beam path, length, difference of 3mm. If the pu lse length was greater than 3rrun then the signals from the two reflectors would be contained within the same enve lope, as in (a). If the pulse length was less than 3rnm then, in practical terms, the signals would be separated, as in (b).

. - : . - ' . •. ~ - - . ~ - '.
.
-
:
.
-
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~
-
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0
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2
3
7
8
9
10

(a)

 

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- .

-

.

 

.

.

-. - ~

-.

.

.

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.

.

 
 

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-

!.

-

 

.

-.

.

 

0

I

2

3

4

5

 

6

7

8

9

10

(b)

The above therefore demonstrates that the shorter the pulse length, the better the resolution.

PULSE REPETITION FREQUENCY (P.R.F.)

The pu lse repetition frequency (p.r.f.) or pulse repetition rate (p.r.r.) is the number of pulses o f ultrasonic energy that leave the probe in a given time (usually per second). Each pulse of energy that leaves the probe must return before the next pulse leaves otherwise they coll ide causing "ghost" or spurious echoes to appear on the CRT. The time taken for the pulse to travel from the probe and return is known as the transit time.

The time between pulses leaving the probe is known as the clock interval. Therefore it can be stated that the transit time must be shorter than the clock interval or ghosting occurs. Practically speaking the clock i~terval should be around five times the transit time.

TRANSITTIME( sec) = DISTANCE TRAYELLED(mm)

ll

CLOCK INTERVAL (sec)

VELOCITY (krnls)

1

P.R.F. (MHz)

CLOCK INTERVAL :

Minimum = TRANSIT TIME

Practical

= 5 x TRANSIT TIME

Cl Ruon< & T P O'N<UI

l»u< c; 0!/0l/O:;

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TPO 'Nei/1

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Note: Compression \\'aves are produced in steel if the incident angle ofthe beam in perspex is less than approximately 2 7.4°.

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Not e: Sheor waves 011/y are

produced in steel ifthe incident angle ofilre beam

in perspex is between

approximately 28° and 56°.

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U~IT UT2 ·THE PROPAGATIO~ OF SOUND

MODES OF PROPAGATION

Compression or longitudinal waves

Probes that produce compression waves will nonnally have an incident and refracted angle of, or close to, 0°.

have an incident and refracted angle of, or close to, 0°. Direction of propagation These waves

Direction of propagation

These waves travel through a medium causing the particles of the mate rial to oscillate parallel to the direction of wave propagation and consist of alternate compression and dilation pressure waves.

0

0 0000 0

compression

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

dilation (mrcfraction)

Compressive velocity in steel = 5960 ro/s

Compression waves can propagate Chrough solids, liquids and gases since rigid particle bonding (a condition that only exists in solids) is not essential.

Shear or transverse waves

in solids) is not essential. Shear or transverse waves Direction of propagation Particles vibrate at 90°

Direction of

propagation

Particles vibrate at 90° to the direction of propagation and have a whip lilce action

direction of propagation and have a whip lilce action Shear velocity in steel = 3240 m/s

Shear velocity in steel = 3240 m/s

Shear waves can only propagate in solids, rigid particle bonding being a pre-requisite.

c:x = Incident angle

() Ru ane & T P O'NeiU

Issue 6 02/03/05

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:\OTF. S

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U:\IT UT2 ·THE PROPAGATIO:\ OF SOU~D

BOUNDARY WAVES

These forms of propagation can only occur when a solid to gas interface is present. the objects were immersed, these modes would be fully attenuated.

Surface or rayleigh waves

If

Surface waves are formed when shear waves refract to 90°. The whip-like particle vibration of the shear wave is converted into an elliptical motion by the particles changing direction at the interface with the surface.

These waves are not often used in industrial N. D.T. although they do have some applications in the aerospace industry. Their mode of propagation is elliptical a long the surface of a material, penetrating to a depth of one wavelength. They will follow the contour of a surface and they travel at approximately 90% the velocity of shear waves.

travel at approximately 90% the velocity of shear waves. Where sharp changes in contour occur, such

Where sharp changes in contour occur, such as a corner edge, reflected energy will return to the probe.

Plate or lamb waves

Plate waves are formed by the introduction of surface waves into thin plate material. They are a combination of compression and surface or shear and surface waves causing the plate material to fl ex by totally saturating the material.

There are two types of plate 'waves:

lJ lJ lJ lJ lJ lJ lJ lJ )> Surface wave

Symmetrical

plate waves

Plate distortion

Asymmetrical

(flexural)

platewaves

U U U U U U!). 'Q.

~

~

~

~

(Longitudinal wave)

~

~

)>Surface wave

-

 
--- ~ --. - ---- t t
---
~
--.
-
----
t
t
 
- -- --- -
-
--
---
-

t

---

t

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Surface wave

 
  (Shear wave)

(Shear wave)

~aaaaaaaa

Plate distortion

Cl Kuant & 'I f O'Ndll I>Jutl> UZIUJ/U)

< Surface wave

- t ---- --- --- - t - -~ J, --- --- --- -
-
t ----
---
---
-
t
-
-~
J,
---
---
---
-

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Ruane & II TPO 'Nei/1

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1 Anisotropic: The grains are

random in orientation and I 0 lzave different elastic properties in different directions.

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Note: Velocity is sometimes denoted by tlze letter 'c (constnlll velocity).

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U~IT UT2 ·Til F. PROPAGATION OF SOU~D

FACTORS AFFECTING THE PROPAGATION OF ULTRASOUND

The propagation of ultrasonic waves in a material is dependant on the density and elastic properties of that material and the type of wave transmitted.

The practical considerations which will affect propagation will include:

• the test material's grain size

• attenuation (absorption and scatter effects)

• acoustic impedance of the test material

• characteristic impedance of inclusions

• diffraction

• lack ofhomogeneity

• anisotropic 1 materials

ACOUSTIC IMPEDANCE

Acoustic impedance (Z) is the resistance of a material to the passage of ultrasound . It is the product of the material density (p) and sound velocity (v).

i.e. Z

=

pv

It is the acoustic impedance difference between two different materials/mediums which governs the intensity of ultrasound reflected from the interface between them.

Conversely, the amount of ultrasound passing from one material to another depends on this difference between the two materials. This difference is expressed as the acoustic

impedance ratio.

Theoretically if an ultrasonic wave was passed through t\vo materials, with the same

acoustic impedance (1: 1 ratio), in intimate contact, then no reflection would occur, i.e.

In practice it is very difficult to achieve

100% transmission of sound would occur.

intimate contact without a coupling medium (see next section).

have a different acoustic impedance to the material and so would affect the amount of sound reflected.

The amount of energy reflected at an interface can be calculated with the following formu la:

The couplant would

% Reflected energy =

Zl - Z2 )

( Z l + Z2

2

x l00

Wh ere Z l and Z2 are the

respective acoustic

impedances of the two

materials.

It can be seen from the formula that:

HIGH ACOUSTIC IMPEDAN CE LOW ACOUSTIC IMPEDAN CE

It can also be seen from the formula that the same amount of energy is reflected,

regardless of which direction the sound is travelling across the interface.

RATIO (e.g. 20: I)

RATIO (e.g.

I: I)

=MORE REFLECTED ENERGY =MORE TRANSMITTED ENERGY

0 Ruone & T P O'NdU

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Note : The ideal acoustic impedance ofcoup/am should be in between the acous1ic impedance ofthe probe and the acoustic impedance of 1he I I!SI

material.

1hickness of1he layer of

coup/am should be one quar1er oflhe wavelenglh of sou)ld through it.

10

The ideal

20

Some recently developed ultrasonic systems use no coup/ant. these are known as air coupled systems and theJJo use very powerful amplification and sensitive received circuitry.

40

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t;NIT LT2 ·TilE PROPAGATIO~ OF SOU!';D

COUPLANT

Because of the very high acoustic impedance ratio of air to a solid material almost I 00% of the energy is reflected at an interface between them (the basis of fl aw detection). Therefore to enable the sound energy to transmit more readily into the test specimen we have to exclude any air that may be present between the probe and tes t surface. This is achieved by substituting the air with a material that has a closer acoustic impedance ratio to the probe and test material. This is known as a couplant.

Common couplants are: water, oil, grease, polycell, swarfega and glycerine.

The selection of couplant is sometimes based on the post-test use of the material being tested, e.g. water based couplants may cause rusting or corrosion but are easier to clean off in preparation for painting or coating when compared to oil or grease, which may actua lly p rotect the material from corrosion.

Viscosity of the couplant may also be a consideration, ideally rough surfaces require a more viscous couplant to effectively fi ll the air gaps more uniformly. Whatever couplant is used for ca libration/setting the search sensitivity, this must be used throughout the subsequent inspection.

ATTENUATION

Attenuation is defined as the loss in intensity of the ultrasonic beam as it passes through a material and is dependant upon the physical properties of the material.

The two main causes of attenuation are SCATIER and ABSORPTION

Scatter

This is the major cause of attenuation and is the redirec tion of the sound waves reflecting off grain boundaries, porosity and non-metallic inclusions, etc., and becomes more apparent on the inspection when the size of grains become Ill Olh of the wavelength of the search unit being employed.

Absorption

As the sound travels through a material a small amount of the energy is us ed up by the interaction of the particles, as they vibrate, causing friction which is dissipated as heat.

As the frequency of the sound is increased the attenuation increases due to more

particle vibration (absorption) and increased sensitivity to small reflectors (scatter from grain boundaries , porosity and inclusions) which is related to the wavelength of the sound.

Materials such as castings and austenitic stainless steel are highly attenuative due to their coarse grain structures, etc. The attenuation factor of a material can be measured and is expressed in d.B/mm (sec the appendices for an exampl e).

Natural attenuation also occurs due to the divergence of the beam in the far zone, i.e. assuming compression probe use, the amplitude of the backwall echo will be halved (-6d.B) every time the distance from the probe is doubled.

0 Ru1uc II< T P O'Neill ln-uo 6 Ol/OJ/05

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Ul\'IT lJT2 ·TilE PROPAGATIO~ OF SOUND

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clt!-

THE DECIBEL (DB)

The decibel is a logarithmic base unit used to compare sound intensities.

Because we do not know the actual energy being transmitted by a probe, we can only compare sound intensities being received and express them as a ratio, e.g. twice as much, ten times as much etc

A change in sound intensity, expressed in dB, can be measured by comparing signal

heights on a calibrated CRT. The change in dB is given by the formula :

dB = 20 log 10

HI

- H2

Where H 1and H2 are the respective signal heights.

By transposing the formula it is possible to determine the r atio of the signal he ights

when the dB difference is known.

The gain/attenuator controls on a conventional ultrasonic flaw detector are calibrated

in decibels, i.e. if we reduce the intensity of ultrasound by 6dB any signal on the CRT.

If we reduce or increase the intensi ty by 20dB then

the signal will reduce to a tenth or increase by ten times its o riginal height respectively.

It is important to note that on certa in flaw detectors, if reject or suppression is used to remove small unwanted signals from the display, then the linearity of the amp lifier, and hence the other signals, will be adversely affected, i.e. a 6dB drop will not reduce the signal by 50%.

Table of approximate dB drops:

will drop to half its original height.

dB

H2

Drop

Hl :H2 ratio

20

10%

90%

10:1

14

20%

80%

5: 1

12

25%

75%

4:1

10

33%

67%

3:1

6

50%

50%

2:1

2

80%

20%

5:4

~ Ru•o• &

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The selection ofa material suitablefor producing ultrasound and receiving the resuliant pulse back is based on lhree paramelers:

i. sensilivity

ii. resolution

20

iii.

efficiency

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70

Fundamental frequency is also known as the resonancefrequency and is the lowestfrequency the body/material/object will resonate at.

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UNIT UT3 ·SOUND GEj\:ERATION

SOUND GENERATION

THE PIEZO ELECTRIC EFFECT

This is defined as the property of certain crystals to convert electrical energy into mechanical energy and vice versa. These crystals maybe naturally occurring, artificially manufactured or grown in solution.

Electrical energy in

manufactured or grown in solution. Electrical energy in · ·sound· · . . ' )' .
· ·sound· · . . ' )' . I I I I I I I
· ·sound· ·
. .
'
)'
.
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
J
>
· ·waves··

~

----------

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

~

----------

Electrical energy out

Piezo electric crystals

These crystals may be X-cut or Y-cut depending on which orientation they are sliced, from the crystal material. The crystals used in ultrasonic testing are X-cut due to the mode of vibration they produce (compressional). This means that the crystal is sliced with its major plane (the crystal face) perpendicular to the X axis of the crystal

material.

y

perpendicular to the X axis of the crystal material. y Original crystal Typical crystal Electrical connections

Original crystal

Typical crystal

Electrical connections

layout
layout

Gold or silver conductors (silvering) reinforced with chrome for wear resistance

The frequency of the crystal is determined by its thickness and its acoustical velocity and can be calculated with the formula:

v

Ff= -

2t

Where

Ff

Fundamental frequency

v

Crystal material velocity

T

Crystal thickness

Piezo electric crystal materials

From the formula it can be

seen that the thinner the crystal, the higher the frequency.

Natural

Artificially grown

Manufactured ceramics

   

Barium Titanate (BaTi0 3 ) Lead Zirconate (PbZr0 3 ) Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT) Lead Metaniobate (PbNb,O~)

Quartz Tourmaline

Lithium Sulphate (LiS0 4 )

C Ruane & T P O'Ntill

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The limitations ofmodern ceramic crystal materials are that they have low mechanical strength, i.e. they are briule, and they have a tendency to age. The 20 advantage however is that they are excellent generators ofultrasound.

30

The Curie cemperalllrefor Barlum Titanate is around Joo•c to 120°C, although the piezoelectric properties ofBarium Titanate will start to degrade at temperatures of 70°C and above.

40

The primary reason standard probes are not usually used on materials above 50°C is 50 because ofthe posslbility

of degradation

of the crystal.

Th e secondary

reason is due

to the probe shoe

char acteristics beginning co change. altering ve/oci(y and

therefore the beam angle on shear wave probes.

60

1 Specular: Mirror-like.

70

80

90

100

Properties of piezo electric materials

Crystal material

 

Advantages

   

Limitations

 

Quartz

 

Stable Good wear resistance

 

Poor

piezo

electric

properties

 
 

Best

received

and

 

easily

 

Lithium sulphate

Soluble in water

 

damped

   
 

Best transmitter and good piezo electric properties May be preformed to focus beam

 

Barium Titanate

Temperature critical

Lead Zirconate

Good

piezo

electric

 

properties

 
 

Good

transmitter

and

all

   

Lead Zirconate Titanate

round properties

 

Poor silvering

The polarisation of ceramics

In their natural state the polycrystalline ceramic material's crystals are randomly orientated and the piezo electric properties cancel each other out. To polarise these ceramics they are heated up to their Curie temperature and subj ected to an electrostatic fie ld . The crystals align themselves with the direction of the field, which is maintained during cooling. This polarised ceramic material then behaves as a piezo electric transducer until heated again to it's Curie temperature.

The most common crystal materials in use are Barium Titanate and Lead Zirconate Titanate.

REFLECTION, REFRACTION & SNELL'S LAW

Reflection

Ultrasonic waves are reflected by objects or interfaces placed in their path. When striking a s pecular' reflector the angle at which this reflection takes p lace is governed by the law of reflection, which states:

Angle of incidence = Angle of reflection

Refraction

This describes what happens to an ultrasonic beam when it passes from one medium to another where the two media have different acoustical velocities, e.g. from perspex to steel. The beam changes direction or angle in the vertical plane.

Reflected angle

(

r )

or angle in the vertical plane. Reflected angle ( r ) Incident angle (a) I Reflected

Incident angle

(a)

IReflected sound I

angle ( r ) Incident angle (a) I Reflected sound I (a) Incident angle I Refracted

(a)

Incident angle

IRefracted sound I

Refracted angle

(~)

C> Ruane & T P O' Ne ill

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ll~IT t:T3 · SOU~D GENERATIOi'i

TP O'Neill

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S11ells Low is token from

thl! laws ofoptics/light. A

change of velocityfrom one medium to another is required to allow refraction to occur.

10

Note: If V remains constant as V2 increases, the larger the resultallf refracted 20 a11gle will be.

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Snell's law

T he relationship between the incident angle and refracted angles is governed by Snell's

law that states:

Sina

--=-

VI

SinP

V2

Where:

a

incident angle

p

refracted angle

VI

velocity in medium I

V2

velocity in medium 2

MODE CONVERSION

A change in wave-fom1 from one to another, together with the accompanying change

in velocity, due to reflection or refraction at an interface. An example of mode

conversion that we make use of is when the compression wave, generated by the

crystal in a shear wave probe's perspex shoe, crosses an interface between the s hoe and

a steel test piece and converts to a shear wave.

Another example of mode change that we do not want to occur, e.g. shear waves changing to compression waves. This occurs fairly regularly when carrying out a

critical root scan on a single v fully penetrated weld with a shear wave probe, i.e. some

of the ultrasound entering the root bead can be reflected vertically up to the weld cap

and if a critical angle is exceeded, the wave mode will change from shear to compression. Accordingly on its return path to the probe, the received spurious signal displayed on the time base will represent an indication that appears to plot on full skip just outside the weld side wall on the opposite side from the scanning surface.

The operator however will not be able to confirm this from the opposite side of the

weld on half skip which, if it had been an actual flaw, he would have expected to do so. As this type of mode change/spurious indication gives a fairly characteristic signal display, an experienced operator would be expected to interpret this effect fairly easily.

It is also possible though that mode conversions and/or spurious indications can be misinterpreted as flaws. particularly if not investigated carefully.

DIFFRACTION

This occurs when sound waves pass the tip of a narrow reflector. Some of the sound scatters off the tip causing waves in different directions that reinforce or cancel out the original waves. This results in a series of high and low intensity waves radiating out

from the tips, giving the impression of sound bending around the edges of the defect.

Sound waves

~ Ruane & 1' P O'Neill

luu e 6 01/03/0S

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Diffracted energy

, ~ ) =====: :"C > ····~
,
~
)
=====: :"C
>
····~

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Ul\IT UT3 ·SOUND GENERATIO~

CRITICAL ANGLES

These are the incident angles in the first medium at which the refracted angles in the

second medium change over from one wave-form to the next. The ftrst critical angle is where the refracted compressional wave is just about to disappear leaving only shear waves in the second medium. The second critical angle is where the refracted shear wave has changed to a surface wave.

The critical angles can be calculated using Snell's law.

1)

oo

c

r

vi

v2

c

4) vl v2 130
4)
vl
v2
130

«

0

(2)

vl

v2

law. 1) oo c r vi v2 c 4) vl v2 130 « 0 (2) vl

2nd critical angle

(5) « su
(5)
«
su

130

(s)

0

130

(c)

1st critical angle

0

vl v2 13 o(s)
vl
v2
13 o(s)
(6) a all
(6)
a
all

0

Critical angles perspex to steel

In diagram (I) a compression wave (c) is incident on the boundary between perspex and steel at an angle of 0°. At the interface some energy reflects (r) and some is transmitted across (c) continuing through at 0°. In (2) as we increase the angle (o:) of the incident wave (c), in the perspex (i.e. less than first incident critical angle), the

wave in the steel (c) refracts (p 0 ), due to the difference in the velocities

of perspex

(v i ) and steel (v2). However as well as the refracted compression wave there will also be a weak shear wave mode (s)- see sketch (2). In (3) if we increase the incident angle (ex) until the refracted wave (c) reaches 90° (P 0 (c)), then the incident angle (o:) has reached what we term the first critical angle. Following behind the refracted compression wave is a shear wave (s) and in (4) as we increase the incident angle (o:)

still further, the compression wave internally reflects (r) leaving only shear waves (s) in the steel. At (5) if the incident angle (o:) is further increased then the shear wave refracts until it reaches 90° (p 0 (s)). Th is is what we tem1 the second cr itical angle . At this point the shear wave bounding along the interface has changed into a surface wave (su). Therefore we can see that (i) compression and shear waves exist in the second medium when the incident angle is between 0° and the firs t critical angle. (ii)

Only shear waves exist when the incident angle is between the ftrst and second critical angles and (iii) surface waves exist only at the second critical angle. Beyond the second critical incident angle, as in diagram (6), all conven tional modes of propagation are reflected internally .

C Ruo ne & T P O 'NeiU

in diagram (6), all conven tional modes of propagation are reflected internally . C Ruo ne

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lJ~IT LT3 · SOUND GE~ERATION

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Calculation of the critical angles for a perspex to steel interface.

ex

=

in cident angle

p =

refracted angle

vl

= compressional velocity in perspex = 2740 m/s

v2

=

velocity in steel,

compressional= 5960 rn/s

1st critical angle:

S

rna

.

=

vl

v2c

-

x

m

f3

Sin a = 0.459731543 x

angle: S rna . = vl v2c - x s· m f3 Sin a = 0.459731543

2nd critical angle:

Sina

=

vi

v2s

x

Sin f3

Sina = 0.845679012 x

a

=

57.7°

shear= 3240 rn/s

 

Sin a

=

2740

rn/s

X

Sin 90°

 

5960

m/s

1

 

Sin a

2740

rnls

x

Sin 90°

 

3240

rnls

I

At the first critical angle compression and shear waves co-exist, so the lowest angle fo r shear waves only in practical use, is just beyond the first critica l ang le, at an incident angle of 29°, which gives a refracted shear angle of 35°.

S

m

.

f3

v2s

=- x

vi

rna

Sin f3 = 1.182481752

35°. S m . f3 v2s =- x vi s· rna Sin f3 = 1.182481752 x

x 0.4848096

Sin f3

3240 rnls

2740

rnls

x

Sin 29°

At the second critical angle surface waves exist so the highest incident angle we use for shear waves is 56° that gives an 80° shear wave.

So the range of shear wave probe angles in steel (for pra ctical produced from incident angles of 29° to 56° in perspex.

purposes) are 35° to 80°,

angles of 29° to 56° in perspex. purposes) are 35° to 80°, C Ruane & T

C Ruane & T P O'Neill

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May also be referred to as twin crystal probe.

30

40

 

50

1 Dead zone: Ringing time

60

ofcrystal.

70

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90

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U~IT UT4 · EQUIP:\IE~T

EQUIPMENT

PROBES

The angle of a probe used in ultrasonic testing is measured from a line drawn perpendicular to the test surface . This line is known as the normal . A oo probe then is one which transmits sound at 90° to the test surface. Also known as a normal probe,

this

probe usually transmits compressional or longitudinal waves. A 60° ang le probe

would transmit sound at 60° to the normal, i.e. 30° from the surface. The most

conunon angle probes transmit shear waves (although angled compression probes do exist for special applications) and the manufacturers quote the angle of the probe for

use on mild steel.

0° combined double* probe

Electrical connections

Perspex
Perspex

Casing

Cork separator

Double probes have two crystals, one transmits and the other receives ultrasound . The cork separator in between the shoes prevents "cross-talk" or "chatter" between the crystals. Using oil as a couplant may eventually break down the acoustic barrier and produce spurious standing echoes on the display. Having separate crystals eliminates the dead zone 1 on the display, enabling the detection of near-surface defects. These probes are therefore useful for testing thin sections, e.g. thickness gauging and examining for near surface flaws. The crystals may be focused to give a focal point at the idea l beam path range to be examined.

Single crystal angle probe

Casing
Casing

Single crystal probes have one crystal that transmits and receives ultrasound. The flaw detector controls the process by transmitting a pulse of energy then switching the circuit to receive, listening for any returning sound, in between pulses. The circuitry can be switched quicker than the crystal can be damped. So the receiver picks up the last few vibrations of the crystal, as it sw itches in, and displays them on the screen as the dead zone. This eliminates the possibility of detecting near-surface defects.

C Ruanc & TP O'Ntill

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U:\IT UT4 · EQUIPI\IE~T

Angle probes have a perspex shoe, on Which the crystal sits, that can be machined to any angle. The angle of the wedge determines the angle that the ultrasound strikes the interface (incident angle). This in tum, according to Snell's law, controls the angle that the sound will propagate through the test material (refracted angle). Damping material

on the back of the crystal (also known as a backing slug) controls the length of the ultrasonic pulses by absorbing the sound energy, producing short sharp pulses. The length of the pulse is the main factor in determining the resolution of the equipment. The most common dan1pinglbacldng medium is Tungsten Araldite.

SHORT PULSE LENGTH/WIDTH/DURATION MEANS GOOD RESOLUTION.

Soft nosed probe

MEANS GOOD RESOLUTION. Soft nosed probe This has a soft diaphragm mounted on the front of

This has a soft diaphragm mounted on the front of the crystal, clamped in place by a threaded ring, the space in between the diaphragm and the crystal being filled with couplant to expel any air. The soft diaphragm follows the contour of the surface under test, making this probe ideal for rough or uneven surfaces, e.g. castings or rough machined components.

Water gap or gap scanning probe

rough machined components. Water gap or gap scanning probe Electrical connection Test material v Sound path

Electrical

connection

Test material

v

Sound path

This consists of a water jacket with a nozzle at the end and a probe inside. Water is fed into the jacket and flows out through the nozzle, forming a column of water, to the test surface, through which the sound can travel. Because of the flexibility of the coupling

medium, (water) the probe can be used on rough or uneven surfaces. These probes are usually used in automated ultrasonic scanning systems and can be set up, using a guide wheel to follow the contour of a component. They can also be used in arrays to scan a wider area.

0 Ru ane & T P O'N•ill

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U~IT UT4 · EQVIP:\IE:\T

Wheel type probe

joint
joint

Soft tyre, solid or water filled

Crystal (within axle)

'II

Test surface

Sound path

In this probe the crystal is within the axle of the wheel and the sound travels through the soft tyre into the test material. The spring loaded joint allows the probe to follow the contour of the surface so it can be used on rough or uneven surfaces. It is used in

a similar way to the water gap probe. The main advantage of this type of probe is that it removes the requirement of externally applied couplant, mainly used in aerospace industries.

Delay line probe

mainly used in aerospace industries. Delay line probe The delay line probe is very similar in

The delay line probe is very similar in construction to the soft nosed probe. The

difference is that it has a long perspex shoe clamped in instead of a diaphragm. The length of the shoe extends the time taken for the echo from the front surface, of the material under test, to return to the crystal. This places the front surface echo (FSE) further along the timebase, i.e. beyond the dead zone. This enables near surface defects to be located or thin plate to be tested using a single crystal probe. These probes are usually high frequency probes (which means they have a small dead zone),

but high frequency = long near zone, therefore, to use them for near surface flaw detection/sizing, the long shoe is used to contain the near zone in the probe not in the test material.

C Ruant & T P O'Ntill

lnut 6 Ol/0)/05

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The frequency stated on the probe is known as the central operatingfrequency.

60

Thzs ts the frequency of the highest output ofsoundfrom the probe.

.

.

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UNIT UT4 · EQUIPl\JENT

Magnetostrictive transducers

/ Frequency I00 KHz
/
Frequency I00 KHz

Used for detecting defective bar stock, the transducer coil has a magnetic field that is switching at ultrasonic frequency. This field causes the bar stock to vibrate at an

ultrasonic frequency and the vibrations travel along the length of the bar. When the vibrations reach the other end of the bar, they reflect back and are then picked up by the transducer (in receive mode) and register on the detector. The equipment is calibrated off a defect free piece of bar stock to register a specific value on the detector and defective bar stock is recognised by a change in this value.

PROBE FREQUENCY, BANDWIDTH & DAMPING

An ultrasonic probe transmits sound at a range of frequencies, not just at the stated frequency , this is known as the bandwidth. For example a 5MHz probe may produce a frequency range of 4 to 6MHz. The bandwidth is also an indication of the damping factor.

Broad Band Probes

 

Narrow Band Probes

They are highly damped

 

They have low damping

Have a short pulse length

 

A longer pulse length

(typically I to 2 cycles)

 

(typically 3 or 4 cycles)

A short ringing time (dead zone)

A long ringing time (dead zone)

Better resolving power

 

Poor resolution

Poor penetration

 

Good penetration

@ Ruane & T P O'Neill

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UNIT UT4 · EQlJIP!\IENT

PROBE SELECTION

The selection of probes for ultrasonic inspection is influenced by various aspects of the

test and the particular material under test. These may include; the type and size of defect being sought, the type of material under test and the distance the sound has to travel through the material. Probe angle is another consideration when searching for defects at different orientations throughout the material.

Below is a table of properties of probes using the two criteria that we can select, i.e. frequency and diameter.

Effect of frequency

Low Frequency

High Frequency

Long wavelength

Short wavelength

More beam spread

Less beam spread

Shorter near zone

Longer near zone

Better penetration

Less penetration

Less attenuation

More attenuation

Longer dead zone

Shorter dead zone

Less sensitivity

Higher sensitivity

Effects of Diameter

Large Diameter

Small Diameter

Less beam spread

More beam spread

Longer near zone

Shorter near zone

Better penetration

Less penetration

Less attenuation (due to beam spread)

More attenuation

Difficult coupling on curved surfaces

Easier coupling on curved surfaces

More coverage on flat surfaces

Less coverage on flat surfaces

Another consideration is whether to use a single crystal or a combined double crystal

probe. The advantages of a single crystal probe are; better penetration, for the same size probe as a double, because the effective transmitter crystal diameter is larger, no focal point, i.e. it works effectively over a longer range and cost (cheaper). The main advantage of a double crystal probe, is that there is no dead zone on the screen, this means better near surface resolution can be achieved.

It can be seen from the tables that higher frequency probes have a higher sensitivity. In this context, sensitivity refers to the ability to detect small defects. The higher the probe frequency the smaller the wavelength and the smaller the size of reflector the probe can detect. It is generally accepted that the smallest reflector a probe can detect is half the probe's wavelength. So a probe with a long wavelength (low frequency) will not detect small reflectors, such as small defects or grain boundaries and so the sound will penetrate further through the material because it is not reflected

at these small interfaces.

() Ruan< & T P O'N<III luu< 6 02/03/US

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THE ULTRASONIC FLAW DETECTOR (FLOW DIAGRAM OF A TYPICAL A SCAN FLAW DETECTOR

DETECTOR (FLOW DIAGRAM OF A TYPICAL A SCAN FLAW DETECTOR The Pulse Generator, also known as

The Pulse Generator, also known as the clock or timer this circuit controls the synchronisation of the flaw detector. It sends an electrical signal to the timebase generator and to the pulse transmitter simultaneously. These electrical signal freque ncies are known as PRF/PRR (Pulse Repetition Frequency/Pulse Repetition Rate). It is usually controlled automatically by the range (coarse) control setting, this in tum ultimately controls the maximum depth of inspection and the ultimate scanning

speed.

The Timebase generator or sweep generator, upon receiving the electrical signal from the pulse generator this circuit controls the voltage or charge on the X-plates causing the electron beam in the cathode ray tube to sweep across the screen i.n a linear motion.

The pulse transmitter or pulser circuit, the electrical signal from the pulse generator triggers this circuit to send a burst of electrical energy, about l to 2Kv, to activate the probe.

The probe or search unit, converts the electrical energy, sent by the pulse transmitter, into pulses of ultrasound by means of a piezo electric crystal (Tx). The returning

ultrasound from the test material is converted back into electrical energy by the probe (Rx) and sent to the amplifier.

The receiver amplifier circuit accepts and amplifies the incoming electrical pulses. The amplification required is about I0,000 to 100,000 times and the output must be linear with the input. The amplifier must also be capable of accepting a range of different frequency signals to accommodate the range of probe frequencies used.

Broad band amplifiers accept a very wide array of frequencies producing an accurate representation of signal shape. This enhances defect interpretation (type) but the signal to noise ratio will be poor, so defect detection may be adversely affected, i.e. a reduction in sensitivity, because of high noise (or grass) levels.

Narrow band amplifiers, on the other hand, suppress the parts of the signal that are

outside the frequency band that it operates at (the pass frequency). This creates a cleaner signal (although not a true representation of the input signal), which means that the gain (amplification) can be increased which in tum enhances defect detectability (sensitivity) . The disadvantage of this is that the altered shape of the signal means that defect interpretation is more difficult.

The Attenuator or gain control reduces the amplification from the amplifier by controlling the voltage or charge on the Y-plates in the C.R.T., which will control

@ Ruant & T P O'Neill

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T P O'Neill

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lfl\IT LT4 · EQUIPI\IE~T

signal heights, bringing them down to a readable level. The controls works on a logarithmic base and it does not affect the linearity of the amplifier.

Suppression or reject reduces the grass or noise level on the display by effectively

raising the time ba se, but in doing this it destro ys amplifier linearity . Usuall y reserved for taking thickness measurements. Some modem digital flaw detectors have

ampli fier linearity and shows the

amount of reject in use as a percentage of display height, e.g. 50% reject indicates that

all signals below 50% screen height have been removed but the remaining signals are still the same height as before.

The Cathode Ray Tube (C.R.T.) consists of a vacuum tube with a positively charged phosphorescent coating on the inside of the front surface, a cathode ray gun at the opposite end, a focusing coil and X-plates and Y-plates to control the direction of the electron beam. The gun produces a shower of negatively charged electrons that are attracted to the positively charged coating on the front of the tube. As the electrons travel toward the front (meeting no resistance because of t11e vacuum), t11ey pass

through the focusing coil which focuses the shower into a sing le stream (or beam). They ilien pass between the X and Y plates and are attracted toward any of these plates that have a positive charge or voltage applied. This bends the beam toward the respective plate so deflecting the position that it hits the front su rface of the tube, i.e. the screen. When the electrons finally reach the front surface they react with the phosphorescent coating causing it to glow (green in most analogue sets), producing a

dot on the screen.

This dot is changed into signals purely by the deflection of the b eam by the X and Y plates.

a "linear reject" func tion which does not destroy

a "linear reject" func tion which does not destroy Phosphorescent Cathode coating Electrons 0 Ruant &

Phosphorescent

Cathode

coating

tion which does not destroy Phosphorescent Cathode coating Electrons 0 Ruant & T P O'Ntill 6

Electrons

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UNIT UT4 · EQUIPMENT

TPO'Nel/1

Ruane & II UNIT UT4 · EQUIPMENT TPO'Nel/1 10 The current British Standard {or this ultrasonic

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The current British Standard {or this ultrasonic calibration block is BS EN 12223 which refers to it as Calibration

Block No . / .

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The only difference between BS EN 12223 calibration block no. / and BS 2704 A2

block is the diameter of the

side drilled hole- this has now increased to 3 mm @

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CALIBRATION BLOCKS AND THEIR USES

Tolerances: Wherever practical the limits on dimensions should be ± 0.1 mm.

Steel blocks are made from low or medium carbon ferritic steel (killed),

Materials:

normalised to produce

a fine grained homogenous structure throu ghout.

The international institute of welding (1. I.W.) block

Also referred to as Block No.1, A2, Vl, DIN54/120 or dutch block.

JOOmm

to as Block No.1, A2, Vl, DIN54/120 or dutch block. JOOmm IS.mm 1.5mm dia ~ 3Smm
to as Block No.1, A2, Vl, DIN54/120 or dutch block. JOOmm IS.mm 1.5mm dia ~ 3Smm

IS.mm

1.5mm

dia

~

3Smm

lSmm

200mm

block. JOOmm IS.mm 1.5mm dia ~ 3Smm lSmm 200mm 0° COMPRESSION PROBE USES Calibration 0° probe

COMPRESSION PROBE USES

Calibration

0° probe calibration can be set using back wall echoes (BWE) off the various thicknesses available, i. e. 5, 10, 25, 100 and 200mm. It can also be checked (rough) on the 23mm thick perspex insert which gives a reading of 50mm when calibrated on steel (the ratio of sound velocity in steel to the velocity in perspex is 5960rnls to

two echoes are required for calibra t ion w i th oo

probes . The 91 mm step in t he block serves to calibrate the screen for use with shear

wave probes by using a compression probe. [fa 0° probe is placed over the 91 mm and the echoes placed at 5 and 10 on the graticule then the screen is calibrated for a range of 0 to 182mm compressional. Thjs is equivalent to 0 to 1OOmm shear, the ratio of the velocities of compression to shear waves is 1.82:1 (5960m/s:3240rnls).

2740rnls = 50:23). A mjn.imum of

Dead zone measurement (single crystal probe)

Place the probe over the 5mm section. If the signal is visible outside the dead zone then the dead zone is less than 5mm. If the signal is not visible then place the probe on the lOmm section. If the signal is now visible then the dead zone is greater than 5mrn but less than 1Omm. If the signal is still not visible then go on to the 15mm deep hole. This procedure can be carried out with an uncalibrated screen. An alternative method

would be to calibrate the screen and read the length of the dead zone off the flaw detector graticule.

Resolution

The resolution of a 0° probe can be checked by using the tlu-ee different thickness

sections around the slot below the centre of the lOOmm radius. Place the probe above the slot and with a calibrated screen note the separation between the 85, 91 and lOOmm signals.

Probe output

Place the 0° probe on the perspex insert and note the number of BWEs. A good probe

should give tlu-ee BWEs.

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The current British Standard {or this calibration block is BS EN 17963.