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t

Ultrasonic Time of Flight Diffraction

PREFACE

In many places around the world, Time of Flight Diffraction (TOFD) has been considered a derivative

technique of the ultrasonic inspection method. Even in the ISO documenf ISO TR 25107

.(Non-

destructive testing - Guidelines for NDT training syllabuses), as recently as 2006 TOFD and phased array ultrasonic testing were lumped under a simple heading of derived techniques, with the subject matter to be addressed in Level 2 ultrasonic training. This is an unfortunate treatment of the topic, as

it fails to recognise the complexity of TOFD (and phased array UT). TOFD is indeed based on the

generation and detection of ultrasonic pulses; but so too is acoustic emission. And while the ISO 25107 document treats TOFD with a passing glance, it devotes a complete chapter to the training syllabus for acoustic emissiory addressing it as a completely separate NDT method.

As the requirement for validation of TOFD capabilities were mounting in the 1980s and 1990s, it was

apparent to many that the principles of the technique were sufficiently different from manual

ultrasonic inspection as to require specialised training. By the turn of the 21$ century, the demands for

competent TOFD operators rationalised separate certification in several of the European NDT

certification schemes.In the UK by about 2005, both CSWP (Certification Scheme for Weld Inspection Personnel) and PCN (Personnel Certification in NDT) set training guidelines and certification examination requirements for TOFD. Soon thereafter, other countries began to publish standards that

provided for separate certification in TOFD. For example, the Institut de Soudure in France introduced their certification programme (US 379.22) in about 2010. In 2011, the American National Standards

Institute (ANSD introduced their requirements in the ANSI document cP-105.

Resources in the literature that are dedicated to TOFD are primarily technical papers found on the

intemet or in the monthly NDT society technical journal publications. It is intended that this handbook will provide technicians, students and instructors a single source publication for the

fundamentals involved in TOFD. The topics covered in this handbook generally follow the

requirements set out in the CSWP document for TOFD training requirements. It is not the intent to

make this book a comprehensive training manual on all aspects of ultrasonic testing. \zVhere

background fundamentals are deemed useful to explain pertinent aspects of TOFD, the basics will be explained with adequate detail.

To enhance the usefulness of this text as a training manual, problem solving exercises have been

included. These assignments are typical of those questions and assignments that would be presented in a classroom environment and similar to those that may be used in certification examinations.

l1

Ultrasonic Time of Flight Diffraction

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

"Preparntion of this book- has benefitted greatly from the helpfttl reoiew and editing by *y friends at Eclipse Scientific Prodttcts. I nlso receioed helpful information from my discussions and correspondence uith seuerql

people uho are a part of the I'IDT conrmLLnity responsible for making TOFD a respected test tnethod. These

include: Steen I'leergaord {tnd lorgen Dnm (Force Technologies), Msrk I'lel and Inn Baker (Technology Design

Ltd,), Michael Moles (O1{DT), Steae Traaes (Lateral Wsae Limited), DotLg Moir (Focal Point NDE

Technologies Inc.) and Oleg Volf (Eclipse Scientific)."

iii

Ultrasonic Time of Flight Diffraction

TABTE OF CONTENTS

1

1

1.

2

General Ultrasonic Theory Ultrasonic Testing In Relation To Other NDT Methods

'

'

1

3

1.3

Physical Principles Of Ultrasound

5

1.5

Boundary Interactions Of Ultrasonic Waves

10

1.6

Critical Angles

13

1

7

Attenuation

Of Ultrasound

15

1.8

Attenuation

Due To Scattering

16

1.10

Calculation Of Total Attenuation

1,7

1.11

Ultrasonic Equipment

18

1.13

Monocrystalline And Polycrystalline Piezoelectric Materials

20

1,.1,4 Ultrasonic Probes

1.15 Sound Fie1ds

1.15.1 The Near 2one

1

75.2

Beam Size

1.15.3 Focal Zone.

1.15.4 Beam Spread And Half

Angle.

1.16 Summary Of Basic Ultrasonic Principles

Chapter (2): The Principles Of TOFD 2.1. A Brief History of TOFD

2.2

General Principles

2.3 Diffraction As It

Applies To TOFD

2.4 Data Visua1isation

2.5 Advantages And Limitations Of TOFD

2.5.1 Advantages

2.5.2 Limitations.

Chapter (3): Instrumentation Used In TOFD

3.1 Background Of The Electronics

3.2 Pulsers and Receivers

3.2.1. Pulsers

3.2.2 Receivers

1V

23

25

26

26

27

28

29

31

31

36

39

42

44

45

47

49

49

50 ,

51

56

Ultrasonic Time of Flight Diffraction

Ultrasonic Time of Fli

t Diffraction

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1,.1, General Ultrasonic Theory

1

2

Ultrasonic Testing In Relation

To Other NDT Methods """"""""

1.3

1.5

1.6

1.7

Physical Principles Of Ultrasound """""""'

Boundary Interactions Of Ultrasonic Waves Critical Angles Attenuation Of Ultrasound

"""'

1.8

Attenuation

Due To Scattering

1.10

Calculation Of Total Attenuation

1.11

Ultrasonic Equipment

1.13

Monocrystalline And Polycrystalline Piezoelectric Materia1s

L.L4 Ultrasonic Probes

1.15 Sound Fie1ds

1.15.1 The Near 2one

1

15.2

Beam Size

"""""""""""""t

""""""""""""3

"""""""""'5

"""""""'10

"""""""" 13

"""" 15

""""""""' 16

""""""'17

"""""'18

""""""'20

"""""23

""""""""'25

"""""""""'26

"""""""""26

1.15.3 Focal Zone.

1.15.4 Beam Spread

""""""""27

""""""""""""'28

"""""""""'29

And Half Angle'

1,.16 Summary Of Basic

Ultrasonic Principles"'

Chapter (2): The Principles

2.7

2.2

2.3

2.4

2.5

Of TOFD

 

""""""""""""31

'

"""""""""""'31

"""""""'36

"""""39

""""'42

"""""""44

"""""""'45

"""""""'47

""""""""""""49

A Brief History of TOFD

General Principles

Diffraction Asit Applies To TOFD

Data Visualisation

Advantages

'

And Limitations Of TOFD"""""

2.5.1' Advantages

2.5.2 Limitations.

Chapter (3): Instrumentation Used In TOFD""""'

3.1 Background

3.2

Of The Electronics

Pulsers and Receivers.'.'

3.2.1 Pulsers

3.2.2 Receivers

 

""""""""49

'

""""""""50

"""""""""""'51

"""""""""'56

iv

Ultrasonic Time of Flight Diffraction

8.2

71.2

VI

Ultrasonic Time of Flight Diffraction

 

11.2.1 Lateral Wave (Back-Wall) Straightening

779

11.2.2 Lateral Wave (Back-Wall)

Removal

779

11.2.3 Lateral Wave Equalisation

 

180

17.2.4 Si,rrthetic Aperture Focussing Technique

(SAFT)

181

11.3

11.2.5 Hysteresis Or Backlash Compensation

Other DSP

182

183 -

1.1

4

ilZ:',,"ff,',Tfi;'i.xl;;;;;; :::

DSP Il1ustrations

:

.

i:

:i::

L84

Chapter (12): Codes, Standards, Procedures, Techniques, And Written Instructions

193

12.1 Documentation Hierarchy

12.2 Procedure Guidelines

193

196

12.2.1 Scope

1,96

72.2.2 Standards And References

196

72.2.3 Definitions

196

72.2.4 Personnel

196

72.2.5 Identification And Datum Points

796

72.2.6 Surface

Preparation

796

1,2.2.7 Extent Of Inspection

197

12.2.8

Equipment

Specification

197

12.2.9 Equipment

Calibration.

197

12.2.10 Equipment Checks

197

12.2.11 Assessment Of Test Results - Acceptance Criteria

197

72.2.12 Reporting Of Test Results

192

12.2.13 Attachments

797

Chapter (L3): Industrial Applications Of TOFD

13.1 Hear,y-Wall Pressure Vessel Construction

1,3.2 Weld Root Erosion

13.3 Cladding Interface Inspection

13.4 Stress Corrosion Crackin9

13.5 Fatigue Cracking

13.6 Shear Mode TOFD

13.7 HDPE Fusion Butt Welds

Appendix (A): Glossary Of Terms

Appendix (B): TOFD Depth Uncertainty Error Accumulation

Appendix

(C): Sample TOFD Written Instruction. Title, Status, Authorisation

Foreword And Scope

Referenced Documents

Personnel

Apparatus To Be Used

vl1

-.-

tgg

199

200

200

201.

201.

203

203

221

222

224

224

225

22s

225

22b

Ultrasonic Time of Flight Diffraction

Product/Area To Be Tested

225

Test Conditions

225

Detailed Instructions For Application Of Test

225

Recording And Classifying Results.

226

Reporting The Results

226

v1t1

Chapter (1): Introduction

CHAPTER (L): INTRODUCTION

Time of Flight Diffraction (TOFD) has been part of the non-destructive testing (NDT) collection of

techniques since the early 1970s. Although originally developed as a method to improve size

estimations of flaws, it also has advantages in the detection of flaws.

Over the years, TOFD has gradually gained acceptance in the NDT industry. As Iyith many new

options, it needed to "find its place". This was made more difficult by the wording of old codes and the normal reluctance of any industry to adopt changes. Thanks to the work done by many supporters of the technique, TOFD has become a viable option in many applications, including pressure vessel, pipeline, aerospace and others. With TOFD, now included in several national and international codes

and standards, it has gained even wider acceptance, based solely on its impressive sizing results.

This handbook is intended to provide students with an understanding of the basic principles and

limitations associated with TOFD. In most cases, TOFD is used with a scanner (probe holder and encoder) and as such, is a form of mechanised ultrasonic inspection. Therefore, some background on

mechanised ultrasonic inspections, data acquisition and computer imaging is also addressed. In addition to the theoretical and mechanical aspects of TOFD, special coverage is given to

documentation used in the NDT industry. Written Instructions and Procedures are formal documents typically written by personnel certified in NDT. Examples of these documents are provided.

Since TOFD is a specific application of ultrasonic testing (UT), some of the fundamentals of UT will be covered first. Aspects of physical properties of sound, the behaviour and generation of ultrasonic waves will be considered. As well, general applications and limitations of UT will be given brief

coverage.

1.1

GENERAL ULTRASONIC THEORY

Ultrasonics is merely a special extension of acoustics or the study of sound. Acoustics investigates

mechanical vibration and has been a subject of study for centuries; "sounding" has long been used to

determine how full or empty a cask of wine or beer is. As early as 7877, definitive writings on the subject began in earnest. In that year Lord Rayleigh (after whom Rayleigh waves are named)

published his now famous two volume work, "The Theory of Sound".

Cilia, in the cochlea of the ear, are sensitive to air borne mechanical disturbances, having frequencies

from approximately 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. Above 20 kHz the ear no longer perceives sound, although mechanical vibration can have frequencies much higher than that. Above the range of hearing the mechanical vibrations are termed ultrasonic.

Applications of ultrasonic waves are numerous. Apart from a navigation system, such as used by bats,

man has developed several uses for the phenomenon. The following table lists some of these

applications.

Introduction

Ar:nlication

Machinins

Weldine

w o

o

.

o

w&

a

o

e

o

.

o

o

o

.

.

Table 1-1 Ultrasonic

depth finding

Frequencv Ranqe

 

80Watts/litre)

40-50 kHz

high power application

25-500 kHz

knife-edge blade mixer

mixing, dispersing &

facilitates or speeds up chemical reactions

vortex shedding

sinS-around

doppler effect fine cuts in brittle materials

micro-massage(physiotherapy)

lithotripsy-(shatteringagglomerations.

locating and identifying conditions

assisting puddle flow

flaw detectiory thickness determination

evaluation of materials' properties

500kHz-5MHz

20-50kHz

2-7 MI{z

20-30kHz

1-15 MHz 0.5 - 100 MHz

The application of ultrasonics to industrial testing is usually attributed to Russian physicist S. Sokolov.

In 1929, he used a form of through-transmission

to demonstrate a reduction in intensity, when a

defective area was compared to a sound area of a test specimen.

Industrial applications grew rapidly, in concert with advances made in instrumentation.

Ultrasonic testing is one of several methods used in industry today, as a non-destructive means. Non-

destructive testing (NDT) is any method of examining an item, without altering its chemical or

physical make-up, so as to render it unusable after the test.

By way of contrast, destructive testing requires that the article being tested be loaded to destruction

and sectioned, so as to verify or establish engineering design requirements.

The two test methods (destructive and non-destructive) are occasionally used in conjunction with each

other. Typically,

determine the

a discontinuity located by NDT might be evaluated using destructive means to

relationship of NDT response to size, location and type of discontinuity. This

information is then used to relate NDT results to the structural or service life of an article.

There can even be overlap with the various methods available. Magnetic particle and eddy current testing are sometimes linked in technology where flux leakage methods are used. Acoustic emission is basically a special application of ultrasonic testing.

Other test techniques that are essentially non-destructive in nature include:

r

r

.

.

.

r

o

r

Acoustic emission

Strain gauging

Phoro ltu'iit

(or birefringent) coatings

Moir6 analYsis

Visual insPection

Optical Proiection or endoscoPY

Vibration analysis

Helium leak

testing

^^mnlex Each method has its own strengths and-

:i+i*+to"'o^'ia"'"d'size'q""""istateor *"

ul""t *

of failure

(in money

and

in ot|11ses a combination

engineers'

let

iecisions are often made by

of

the various NDT

methods' If

be called for' Although this can

*",ff :#;l#"'lX;trHi:"ffi#;"ffi

i,

system.

*"rr,

manufacture or use

potentially

in a complex

timU; are also factors to consider'

life or

In some

of NDT

Hopetully they have the experien*

they are unsure

*;

increase ttt"

;^" t"rt l, ,d"qt;;;;al

miiht;;;"

""o'nJ""-t" r*"r"' it

rro"ty ruit r"

cases, only one NDT method might be possible or adequatei

methods will be needed ,o

"r,r,rr:',,t

*;;;

Ji"rri r"rrnr. such

to

t"o* th" li*i;;;;;s test-meth;;;t

practical or

economically sound'

I.2ULTRASONICTESTINGINRELATIONToOTHERNDTMETHODS

specific methods of testing used for the non-destructive inspection

of materiar

are actually

,,1*",oo,rn"y*ig,,ibeb-road,yT::flJ[?

even then there can"be srev areas-ot-"":1T

to be

consid"'"a 'ort'*-" ttic? or'if R'y;;ig:h

**::"J:,I;,1uffiTffi[.l;;"

today

of their

industry

limitations of each method'

and some

',

quite

jj# j;;ITil:fllf :*;;]T:;1""*1ii:t

can it be considered

:,:::l::pj:;a ;,;;''"#'

*u""'

u'"

""d in

ultrasonic testing' '

'""t"g'

NDr methods usedin

a list or'or:.11'n" more common

the table lists some of the

morJ -**or, applrcations.raaitior,rtty,

1): Introduction

Tableable 1-2 NDT

NDT Method

Applications . used on nonporous materials

can be applied to welds, tubing,

brazing, castings, billets, forgings,

aluminium parts, turbine blades

and disks, gears

 

.

Magnetic

o

Particle

 

.

o

.

.

.

.

o

ferromagnetic materials

surface and slightly subsurface

flaws can be detected

can be applied to welds, tubing,

bars, castings, billets, forgings,

extrusions, engine components,

shafts and gears

metals, alloys and electro-

conductors

sorting materials

surface and slightly subsurface

flar,vs can be detected

used on tubing, wire, bearings,

rails, non-metal coatings, aircraft components, turbine blades and disks, automotive transmission

shafts

metals,

non-metals and

composites

. surface and slightly subsurface

flaws can be detected

o can be applied to welds, tubing,

joints, castings, billets, forgings,

shafts, strucfural components,

concrete, pressure vessels, aircraft and engine components

r used to determine thickness and mechanical properties

o monitoring service wear and

deterioration

4

Limitations

.

o

o

need access to test surface

defects must be surface breaking

decontamination & pre-cleaning of test surface

may be needed

. vaPour hazard

o

.

o

very tight and shallow defects difficult to find

depth of flaw not indicated

detection of flaws limited by field strength and direction

. needs clean and relatively smooth surface

.

o

.

.

some holding fixfures required for some

magnetising techniques

test piece may need demagnetisation which

can be difficult for some shapes and

magnetisations

depth of flaw not indicated

requires customised probe

. although non-contacting it

requires close

o

.

proximity of probe to part

low penetration (typically 5mm)

false indications due to

parametric variables

uncontrolled

o

usually contact is required, either direct, or

with an intervening medium (e.g., immersion

testing)

o special probes are required for applications . sensitivity limited by frequenry used and some materials cause significant scattering r scattering by test material structure can cause false indications

o not easily applied to very thin materials

r (1): Introduction

Radiography

Neutron

W

Radiography -

X-ray

o

metals, non-metals, composites

and mixed materials

 

.

used on pyrotechnics, resins,

plastics, organic

material,

honeycomb

sttuctures,

radioactive material, high density

materials,

and

materials

containing hydrogen

o

metals, non-metals, composites

and mixed materials o used on all shapes and forms;

castings, welds,

electronic

% assemblies, aerospace, marine

Radiography -

Gamma

and automotive components

r usually used on dense or thick

material

.

used on all shapes and forms;

castings, welds,

electronic

assemblies, aerospace/ marine

and automotive components

.

used where thickness or access

limits X-rav qenerators

.

.

.

access for placing test piece between source

and detectors

size of neutron source housing is very large

(reactors) for reasonable source strengths

collimating, filtering or otherwise modifying

beam is difficult

. radiation hazards

.

o

.

o

cracks must be oriented parallel to beam for

detection

sensitivity decreases with

access to both sides of test piece needed

voltage, focal spot size and exposure time

critical

e radiation hazards

.

o

cracks must be oriented parallel to beam for

detection

sensitivity decreases with increasing thickness

o radiation hazards

.

cracks must be oriented parallel to beam for

detection

. sensitivity decreases with increasing thickness . access to both sides of test piece needed r not as sensitive as X-rays

1.3 PHYSICAL PRINCIPLES OF ULTRASOUND

Basic to ultrasonic testing is the propagation of energy via mechanical vibrations. We refer to the

periodic disturbance associated with this energy transfer as a wave. Perhaps the most common form of the wave is the ripple over the surface of water. Although the water surface rises and falls as the wave passes forward, the particles of water do not (on average) move forward with the wave. Particle motion is limited to an up and down motion.

The main characteristics of the wave are its speed of propagation, its frequency, its wavelength and amplitude. Speed of propagation is the distance traversed by a point on the wave in unit time. The symbol used for speed of a sound wave is usually 'c' ot'v' .

Frequency of a wave is the number of complete disturbances or cycles in a unit time. Frequency is

expressed as hertz (abbr. Hz) and usually given the symbol f or V (pronounced nu). The ratio of a wave's velocity to its frequency gives the wavelength of one cycle. The symbol for wavelength is l"

(lambda).

7:u / f

(1 .1)

Chapter (1): Introduction

Amplitude (A) is the maximum

usually half the distance of the

characteristics of the wave.

displacement of a particle from peak to peak value. Figure 1-1

its undisturbed mean value. It is graphically illustrates the main

1.,

.J_

I

Figure 1-1 Components of the Wave

Time for one cycle is found from the inverse of frequency, i.e. l/f

Distance (x)

and is called the period. The

number of cycles of the disturbance that occurs in a unit length is given the term "wave number". It is the reciprocal of wavelengtfu and k is its symbol.

k=1/l

(1.2)

All waves can be expressed mathematically as some form of a sinusoid. The simplest equation of a sinusoidal wave travelling from left to right (as referenced by Figure 1-1) can be given by

!:

Astnk(x-vt)

(1 3)

Where;

y: Vertical displacement of a particle

A: Maximum displacement it will achieve

k: Wave number for the wave x: Distance travelled at time t u: Velocity of the wave.

The wave equation is applicable to continuous waves. More common in ultrasonic testing applications will be variations on the continuous waves. A disturbance of very short duration, such that a complete

cycle is not made, is called a pulse (see Figure 1-2).

A

true pulse will have a velocity v similar to the sinusoidal wave but no true frequency or wavelength

is

associated with it. An intermediary form of disturbance is more common to ultrasonic testing (see

Figure 1-3).

Chapter (1): Introduction

., i.,

v

4

l. Particle displacement of a pulse

J

Figure 1-2 Components of the pulse shape

In the wave group a single frequency or

wavelength cannot truly be assigned. In fact a range of frequencies and wavelengths exists

for a wave group. The smaller the group the

more extended the range of frequencies. The mathematical process whereby the amplitude

distribution from the various frequencies is

calculated is called a Fast Fourier Transform (FFr).

Performing an FFT on a wave group obtains a

distribution of amplitude with respect to

frequency (See Figure 1-4).

Time (t) or

A wave group or wave packet

Figure L-3 Typical ultrasonic wave packet or pulse

100% -

Amplitude

0 Increasing Frequency (MHz)

Figure 1-4 Frequency content of a wave group

The extent of frequencies, greater than half the maximum amplitude, is an indication of the pulse "bandwidth". More frequencies indicate a greater bandwidth.

1.4

WAVEFORMS

A wavefront is the locus of points having the same phase, a line or curve in two dimensions, or a surface for a wave propagating in three dimensions. Particle motion defines the mode of the

waveform. When particles are made to move parallel to the direction of wave propagation the mode is called compression mode or longitudinal mode. When particles are made to move perpendicular to the direction of wave propagation the mode is called transverse mode or shear mode. Only solids can support shear mode particle motion.

Chapter (1): Introduction

A special case occurs at a boundary between two materials. At a boundary between a solid and a

liquid or gas, the conditions that allowed the transverse mode to be sustained in the solid are no

longer applicable. As a result the interface particle motion is neither compression nor transversal. The

wave mode is called a surface wave. Surface waves usually have larger amplitudes and longer wavelengths than the body waves in the solid. They travel slower than the shear mode. The most

common surface waves are called Love waves and Rayleigh.

Simplified explanations