Technological developments have made it possible to incorporate a matrix (array) of crystals into a single test probe, allowing for Phased Array inspections. The crystals are controlled electronically so that they can be configured to simulate a range of degrees of exploration, so focusing them in an area of interest or, using a specific angle, to extend the area of exploration. This system allows for on-screen display in a variety of modes (A-Scan, B-Scan, C-Scan), so that a three-dimensional exploration of the weld can be obtained, making it easer to locate and identify defects. With the addition of an encoder to the equipment registers can be obtained.
Apart from the inspection of conventional welds (more or less complex), one of the main applications is to study corrosion by Phased Array, as the system permits high-precision sweeps which evaluate entire areas, not points as until now. This makes it possible, should it be necessary, to prepare corrosion maps of a whole zone, to assess its feasibility, remaining useful life, evolution, etc.
Conventional test probes are composed of a single crystal.
- With Phased Array test probes, the crystal is cut into multiple elements, each of which is controlled individually.
- The characteristics of the beam generated are obtained by controlling the number of elements excited and delaying the excitation of each.
The active element of the test probe is a pulse emitter/receiver.
- The pulses are delayed or PHASED to obtain the angle or focus desired.
- Changes are made in real time and do not require mechanical manipulation.
An Array Test Probe is able to handle the same as multiple single test probes, controlling electronically element by element (indexing), or it can angle and focus using the same method.
- The entire area is covered from a single test probe position.
- For each reflector setting, it is calculated in real time and displayed on the Sector Scan.