What is Ultrasonic Testing in High Pressure Cylinders?

April 18, 2017

Ultrasonic technology plays an important role in countless inspection-oriented fields. Essentially, these high-frequency sound waves easily pass through soft or hard materials. Then, as they're reflected, a detailed picture of the material's innermost properties is electronically reproduced. Employed in ultrasonic testing in high-pressure cylinders, the wave-reflecting tech targets material defects and structural imperfections, the type of masked flaws that would otherwise go unnoticed.

Highlights Invisible Flaws

We choose to put the proverbial horse before the cart this time because the results of an undetected flaw require first mention. There'll be plenty of space for a technology overview in the next paragraph. Importantly, the ultrasonic tests are designed to find unnoticed flaws and material defects. These chinks in the vessel's armour are potential danger spots. Imagine a weak microcrystalline matrix, a spot on the rolled metal jacket that's presently intact. Then add the intense application stresses to this scenario. The vessel walls contract and expand under pressure. Temperature variations compound the issue. The natural flex causes a crack, a fracture that exposes hazardous materials to the local environment. At best, the environment is under threat. At worst, the pressurised fluid undergoes a state change, a dynamic chemical reaction that could end explosively.

What is Ultrasonic Testing?

Ultrasound is the answer to these microscopic and hidden flaws. Used in hospitals and civil engineering, its non-destructive testing credentials are proven. Basically, this device sees the unseen by using an electronic transducer to transmit ultrahigh-frequency sound waves into the cylinder material. The densely packaged waves are then absorbed by the material. Reflected back at different velocities and at different angles, the sound waves are subtly altered. The digital innards embedded inside the transducer-equipped device now convert these slightly altered vibrational waveforms into a picture, one that illustrates every flaw in the subject metal cylinder. In short, the thickness of the metal jacket, every microscopic flaw and potential defect is shown in sharp relief by the rendered images.

Conducted as a non-destructive inspection (NDT), ultrasonic testing in high-pressure cylinders assesses plate thickness. Uniform material thickness is then assured throughout the vessel. Next, the propagating sound waves are transmitted at an ultrahigh frequency range, so the reflecting waves are sure to create a detailed picture, one that reveals the microcrystalline structure of the vessel alloy. Like a virtual window, the transducer's display seemingly turns the vessel walls transparent so that the grain of the alloy can be certified as structurally capable. If that structural integrity is marred by a defect, then further action must be taken.

Contact Details

Fusion - Weld Engineering Pty Ltd
ABN 98 068 987619

1865 Frankston Flinders Road,
Hastings, VIC 3915

Ph: (03) 5909 8218

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