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Phased array inspection of fillet welds

Phased array ultrasonics is used to inspect welds for such faults as internal cracking, inclusions and lack of penetration. This is a well established technology, in which an ultrasonic beam may be steered electronically by the sequential firing of an integrated linear piezo-electric array. In this application a specially designed phased array probe is placed on the inside vertical plate of a fillet weld. The UT beam is steered in such a way as to be able to detect toe cracking of the outer fillet weld. Toe cracking is a surface breaking crack on the upper face of the weld by the edge of the crown. It creates a stress riser in the weld that could lead to failure under bending moments created by fatigue loading.

During inspections of fillet welds the operator will typically have access to only one side of the weld. If both sides are accessible then there are other simpler methods of locating these cracks, such as ACFM - see result four. The ability to detect toe cracking from the opposite side of the fillet would be of considerable use when inspecting above ground storage tanks, ships, or any other container.

The probe has been designed and constructed. Its performance has been experimentally evaluated.

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