Non-Destructive Testing Spotlight: Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing (PAUT)

Searching for the right ultrasonic non-destructive inspection for your manufacturing process can feel like a daunting challenge. But one extremely accurate, yet flexible solution may be just what you need. Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing (PAUT) is an ideal solution for inspecting everything from defects in welds to flaws in solid materials.

What Is PAUT?

Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing (PAUT) generates ultrasonic signals by pulsing groups of ultrasonic emitters at intervals to provide cross-section views of materials. The PAUT inspection device emits multiple ultrasonic pulses from differing angles, creating an electronic image of a material’s cross-section that can be examined for defects.

Phased arrays can detect cracks, voids, and pits caused by corrosion. They can also measure material thickness and ensure that coatings have been applied evenly. PAUT is often used to check the quality of welds and rivets. Phased arrays are also helpful with inspection of joints and checking the application of adhesives.

Advantages of Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing

Phased arrays have some advantages over conventional ultrasonic probes. The beam produced by the emitters can be dynamically controlled. Reliability is improved by cutting out mechanical movements.

Conventional probes only have one focal length and orientation. But PAUT probes can emit ultrasonic beams with varying shapes and focal points. This allows for measurements at several depths to be made in the time a conventional probe would perform one.

Industries Using PAUT Now

Oil and gas companies have found PAUT to be useful for the inspection of pressure vessels, piping, and turbines. PAUT is used to test nozzles as well as circumferential and longitudinal seam welds on pressure vessels. It is also efficient at testing both in-service and newly fabricated piping.

Electric companies use PAUT to check welds while constructing wind turbine towers. PAUT is useful for inspecting the tower for corrosion once it is built. Since it can detect cracks and defects through coatings, it can be used for ruggedized towers at offshore wind farms.

PAUT shows its versatility when building aircraft and spacecraft. PAUT can inspect a fastener hole without the need to remove the fastener. It can also be used to perform fast corrosion inspection on the fuselage.

See how Genesis Systems can improve your inspection process with Automated and Robotic Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing.

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