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Rapid Quality Weld Inspection without Surface Preparation

Objective



Objectives and content

This project targets the adaptation and new application of sensors (ultrasonic array probes and electromagnetic devices) for low cost final quality control in traditional industrial sectors (manufacture of high quality welded components).

To maintain their strong position in world markets for capital projects such as power stations, petrochemical and process plant European engineering companies must continue to improve manufacturing competitiveness. The RAPINSPECT project aims to reduce manufacturing costs by securing a major reduction in the costs of weld surface preparation for non destructive testing (NDT) and in the costs of performing NDT. Taken together the costs of surface preparation and NDT represent about 6 % of manufacturing costs for high integrity structural components.

The main innovation proposed is the development of combinations of advanced NDT techniques (ultrasonic and electromagnetic) and novel weld surface control methods to allow a satisfactory quality of inspection at considerably lower cost.

Target reductions are:
- 75 % reduction in weld surface preparation costs
- 75 % reduction in ultrasonic inspection costs.

The project also offers the potential for higher quality in-service inspection on plant manufactured to older standards where weld surfaces have not been prepared.

The project will take advantage of recent developments in NDT technology: - Time of Flight Diffraction and/or array techniques will be employed to dramatically reduce time for inspection of the weld volume
- Supplementary techniques (advanced electromagnetic methods and/or EMAT's) will be used to overcome limitations associated with inspecting weld cap regions.
- Novel weld deposition methods will be investigated to further reduce limitations associated with weld cap irregularities

The Consortium comprises a manufacturer of capital equipment for power and process plant (Babcock Energy Limited) and a leading in-service inspection company (Tecnatom SA). Babcock and Tecnatom will exploit the techniques developed to improve their competitiveness for in-manufacture and in-service inspection respectively. The vertical grouping includes SMEs who are developers of specialist ultrasonic probe arrays (Diagnostic Sonar) and electromagnetic NDT equipment suppliers (IXTREM). Both companies will exploit the project through sales of NDT equipment. Involvement of Institute de Soudure and SLV will contribute expertise in NDT and welding and assist in Europe-wide dissemination and acceptance of the techniques developed through their involvement in development of CEN standards.

Coordinator

MITSUI BABCOCK ENERGY LTD*
Address
Porterfield Road
PA4 8DJ Renfrew
United Kingdom

Participants (6)

Diagnostic Sonar Ltd
United Kingdom
Address
Kirkton Campus
EH54 7BX Livingston
INNOVATION RAYONS X ET TECHNIQUES RESSUAGE MAGNÉTOSCOPE S.A.
France
Address
9,Rue E.d. Baldus 9
71100 Chalon-sur-saône
INSTITUT DE SOUDURE
France
Address
Zone Industrielle Les Jonquières
57365 Ennery
Schweißtechnische Lehr- und Versuchanstalt München
Germany
Address
37,Schachenmeierstraße
80636 München
TECNATOM S.A.
Spain
Address
1,Avenida Montes De Oca, 1
28709 San Sebastian De Los Reyes - Madrid
UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK
United Kingdom
Address
Gibbet Hill Road
Coventry