Peak NDT – Development of High Performance, Lightweight Compact, Ultrasonic Phased Array Controller with DRE Capabilty

Lead Participant: Peak NDT Limited

Abstract

Ultrasonic Testing (UT) is widely used in industry to interrogate components, plant and
products for flaws; to make sure that they are fit for purpose and to reduce the risk of failure in service, which, depending on the nature of the failure, may be catastrophic for the environment and for the local population. Relatively recent advances in technology have seen the introduction of Phased Array (PA) technology, similar to a hospital baby scanner, to the industrial UT world. With the ability to present the operator with a more readily interpretable display than that from a conventional ultrasonic unit, phased arrays are becoming increasingly popular for the ultrasonic non-destructive inspection of many industrial components. The present market is polarised between high specification high cost units and less capable low cost portable units. Currently the middle-ground, where compact but high specification PA units may be needed to integrate into in-line testing systems, is not adequately served.
Additionally, where the component being inspected is highly attenuating to ultrasound or where very small defects are being sought in close proximity to some large geometric feature then the dynamic range of existing systems may be inadequate and the operator may need to view the responses at two different sensitivity levels.
This development project seeks to address not only the requirement for a mid-priced compact but high performance PA UT unit but also the need for an instantaneous increase in dynamic range, Dynamic Range Enhancement (DRE). The technical challenges posed not only in ‘shoehorning’ the PA electronics into a smaller enclosure but also at the same time increasing the dynamic range of the system are not insignificant and have prompted Queen’s Award for
Innovation Winners, Peak NDT to apply for SMART funding so that a product can be brought to market in a reasonable time-frame.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

 

Participant

Peak NDT Limited, Derby, United Kingdom

Publications

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