Here is our collection of application notes illustrating a variety of situations where Eddyfi solutions were used with great success.
Eddy current array (ECA), more so than most other inspection techniques, has proven an adaptable, powerful, and cost-effective technology, and therefore very well suited to robotization. This application focuses on one such application: scanning stainless steel canisters used in the containment of nuclear material for long-term storage.
In looking for wall thinning under insulation, ultrasonic testing (UT) is often perceived as providing the most accurate results. Except that it requires inspecting from inside pipes or vessels, or stripping the insulation and weather jacket. Time, security, and economic constraints often make this, however, impractical.
IRIS tube testing is powerful but complex, sensitive to pull speed and centering, and is of limited effectiveness in thin-walled tubes. A better IRIS inspection solution offers better detection and sizing performances, therefore less dependance on pull speed and better centering.
Where noise control is important, it is not uncommon to find pipes wrapped in noise-dampening layers between the conventional insulation layer and the weather jacket. Noise-dampening layers typically include an acoustical barrier made of dense, soft material muffling sound and lessening vibration. Up to end of 20th century, lead sheets were the go-to method of performing this task because they are flexible, easy to wrap around pipes, and offer excellent noise attenuation properties. Despite concerns over lead exposure and regulatory restrictions, it is still quite common to find lead-clad pipes in installations over 15 years old.
Common techniques used to look for CUI (visual inspection, phased-array UT, etc.) involve time-consuming and costly stripping. One common alternative to avoid stripping the insulation over pipes is radiography. However, due to its high density, lead is particularly effective in blocking X-rays, seriously hampering the use of the technique.
It is essential to find and monitor thinning in the floor along the edge of the tank (annular ring) to avoid leaks and potentially catastrophic tank floor ruptures. Read out the tank floor probe quantitatively tackles this challenge.
Carbon steel tubing is present in all industries. The comparative high strength, crack resistance, and low cost of carbon steel tubing makes it the most prevalent type of pipe and tubing material worldwide. A US nuclear utility challenged Eddyfi to deliver an RFT inspection system that could reduce the total time necessary to inspect a heat exchanger containing more than 2000 carbon steel tubes.
A high-temperature, high-velocity fluid races toward a 90° bend in an insulated carbon steel pipe. The outcome is inevitable: flow-accelerated corrosion (FAC) will occur at the elbow’s extrados.
Fin-fan air coolers are widely used in the oil and gas industry. Their main advantage is they cool fluids without an external water source. By design, their fans generate a massive airflow that helps aluminum-finned tubes dissipate heat. Fin-fan air coolers are powerful and they can be installed anywhere. Fin-fan air cooler tubes are made of carbon steel.
Friction-stir welding is a relatively new solid-state joining process (where metal is not melted). This welding technique uses a body tool to join two facing surfaces. Heat is applied on the material, leading to a very soft region near the friction-stir welding tool. The tool spins to mechanically intermix the two facing surfaces. The softened metal is joined using mechanical pressure. The technique is primarily used on aluminium and on structures needing welds with a superior strength without a post-weld heat treatment.
Pressure vessels are closed containers designed to hold fluids at pressures substantially different from the ambient pressure. These vessels are ubiquitous in refineries. Due to the critical nature of their function, pressure vessels must undergo regular and rigorous safety testing.
Some carbon steel (CS) pipes must be lined internally with seam-welded corrosion-resistant alloys (CRA) such as Incoloy® to protect them from the very harsh nature of the chemicals they are meant to supply. Cladding CS pipes during manufacture with 3.3 mm (0.13 in) thick seam-welded Incoloy 825 is performed, in this case, using a process called hydroforming. It pressures the cladding against the inner diameter of the CS pipe. Unfortunately, this can cause cracking in all orientations in or around the weld that must be detected.
Laser beam welding (LBW) uses a laser to concentrate heat, very quickly producing deep, narrow welds. Laser welding is common in nuclear applications and high-volume applications such as automotive component manufacturing, as well as others where speed and excellent accuracy are necessary.
Control rod drive mechanisms (CRDM) are located above nuclear reactor vessels. CRDMs insert, hold, or lift the control rods and are used to stop the nuclear reaction in the event of an emergency. They are therefore essential to the safe operation of nuclear power plants.
Stainless steel and Inconel welds are often encountered in the extreme conditions common in the power generation industry because of their good resistance to heat, to corrosion, and to cracking. However, these welds pose unique inspection challenges.
Heat exchangers are essential to the operation of many systems in various industries, processing plants and electric power generation plants, for example. A unique type of heat exchanger (HX) was introduced several years ago: the Twisted Tube® HX. They offer the highest levels of efficiency, but have always been an immense challenge for periodic inspections. Until now.
Condensers using seam-welded tubes are usually less expensive than conventional condensers using seamless tubes. However, they can have one major weakness: the weld along the axis of the tubes. This application note illustrates how the DefHi® probe was used to detect difficult-to-size-and-characterize defects in the seam-welded tubing found in condensers.
Ferromagnetic heat exchanger tubing found in petrochemical plants cannot be inspected with conventional eddy current techniques. In general, RFT is preferred due to its defect sizing capabilities, decreased need for tube cleanliness, and high inspection speeds. Although the RFT technique is widely accepted, it is often difficult to master. This application note shows how innovative software features allow working around several traditional difficulties encountered using RFT.
Aircraft are the backbone of several industries and, as such, are subjected to intense and near-continuous use, making preventive maintenance critical. Maintenance protocols are exhaustive but time-consuming, especially when fuselage and wing longerons are involved. This application note illustrates how Eddyfi solutions were used to characterize fatigue and stress cracks in the vicinity of longeron fasteners, and to map corrosion in a multilayered aluminum structure.
Gears have been around for a long time. They are used to multiply force and change the rotation axis, and they are found everywhere — from heavy machinery to precision instruments. For safety and life-cycle considerations, mission-critical gears must be inspected regularly for surface-breaking cracks. This application note shows how Eddyfi solutions can be used efficiently as alternatives to MT, PT, and UT to detect surface cracking in gears.
Gas turbines are critical assets in the power generation industry. They are big and complex, and shutting them down is often quite costly. The blades in such turbines are generally attached to the rotor through an ingenious system of male and female “dovetails”. These dovetails must be inspected for defects with great efficiency to ensure safety and to maximize the life of the equipment, often in the context of life extension programs. This application note illustrates how Eddyfi solutions are used to efficiently inspect gas turbine dovetails for minute cracking, extending the life of aging equipment.
Heat exchangers are used to heat and cool various fluids across a wide spectrum of industries. This is especially critical to the power generation and petrochemical industries where fixed equipment reliability is paramount. Tubes in heat exchangers made of such materials as austenitic stainless steel and Inconel are plagued by circumferential cracking, which conventional, single-coil eddy current testing (ECT) cannot reliably detect. This application note explores how an innovative probe technology is able to address this challenge.
Corrosion is everywhere and aluminum is no exception. Whether used in the petrochemical, the power generation, or the aerospace industry, aluminum is subject to degradation. Without a doubt, there is a real need for a reliable and high-precision non-destructive testing (NDT) method.
This application note highlights the capabilities of eddy current array (ECA) technology using a particularly interesting application: corrosion detection in the storage tanks of nuclear power plants. It describes how the technology is used to examine this important asset, which plays a critical role in the safe operation of nuclear plants.