The aim of the project is to develop a high resolution / high speed X Ray inspection system for industrial applications (in particular for real time welding inspection with film
replacement and fusion with ultrasonic data to increase
inspection reliability) following end user (pipe manufacturer and pipe layer) requirements.
To overcome the limitations of the existing systems and satisfy user needs of lower exploitation / production costs and higher inspection process reliability the development of a radioscopic inspection system based on a new multiline detector achieving the image quality of film radiography is being developed: a
high resolution (up to approx 50 mm) and high sensitivity (high
contrast: 1% in the Indicator of Quality Image IQI) Time Delay Integration (TDI) X ray detector (based on a multiple line CCD, packaged in a light and small volume) allowing speed inspection up to approx 60 mm/s. The inspection system will also have the
possibility to realize a fusion between X Ray and ultrasonic data already available on the industrial site allowing a very high reliability of the whole weld testing.The NDT prototype system for filmless Real Time Radiography (RTR) developed in the project will be used to evaluate and prove performance,
firstly in a pipe production factory for inspection of spiral seam welds and secondly in offshore pipe laying operations for circumferential weld inspection in arduous conditions. Advanced TDI detector technology and data fusion algorithms could also be applied to other real time digital inspection applications (e.g.food inspection, digital medical imaging for high
resolution radioscopy, shipbuilding, energetic, nuclear, ...).
In pipe production applications, the introduction of the
filmless RTR system could reduce the scrap rate at the X ray inspection stage from the present 20% to a few %. The
possibility of 100% weld inspection allowed by the fast RTR
together with the X Ray and US data fusion will allow a
reduction of inspection uncertainty (reduced number of false defect alarms) from 50% using only US to nearly 0%. The
possibility of film replacement will reduce cost of consumables and allow high inspection and high production speeds. In
offshore (onshore) pipeline inspection, the availability of a RTR system would enhance the inspection quality, provide real time evaluation thus increasing the speed in pipe laying by approx 30%, with consequent major costs savings, and minimize the
chances of ruptures that can be very expensive to repair.
Substantial improvements in environmental impact are also
foreseen thanks to higher pipe inspection reliability (e.g.
avoiding oil spill from pipes) and potential suppression of
processing chemical with the envisaged film replacement.
The main areas of innovation are as follows:
The introduction of an effective Real Time Radiography
inspection system/ methodology for film replacement
A new X ray detector capable of real time inspection with
digital data output being scanned continually over the weld.
A high speed image processing system, capable of
correcting the detector image in real time and with a high data rate detecting the defects, and displaying / storing the
results on a standard PC.
Interface software to enable ultrasonic data to be
displayed synchronously with the x ray data, and fused in case of a defect signal, to allow the system to benefit from the advantages of both methods in an on line testing operation.
The technological effort necessary to develop the detector and the image processing system and data fusion brings together
major European specialists in each domain, with major
industrial partners, small and medium entreprises, educational and research institutes, covering the complete range of roles and capacities from basic academic research through
development, production, distribution, to the end user, each partner bringing specific and complementary competence and
experience to obtain the desired results in time and within the foreseen budget.The consortium is also highly transnational, with partners from four different countries from Northern to Southern Europe.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts