Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) on Ships and Boats

Eddyfi Technologies for Ships Inspection Applications

Like any modern industry, the marine transportation sector continues to realize significant value from a focus on energy and cost efficiency, environmental standards compliance, and best operating practices.


Like any modern industry, the marine transportation sector continues to realize significant value from a focus on energy and cost efficiency, environmental standards compliance, and best operating practices. Because vessels must undergo regular inspection to maintain international registration and insurance, faster and more cost-efficient solutions are always being sought after. Minimizing risk, lowering operating expenses and reducing costly delays and downtime are key industry drivers.

Ship inspection involves assessing weld integrity, potential corrosion, marine growth and cathodic protection on a ship’s hull, bilge keel, rudder shaft and propeller. There are well-established NDE methods employed in the maritime industry – all of which makes ship inspection reliable and compliant. However, transitioning to new high-tech alternatives allows quicker and more productive mapping of a ship’s structure in an economical and non-intrusive manner.

Ultrasonic Testing (UT) is regularly used for spot checks of remaining wall thickness of ship hulls, but Phased Array UT (PAUT) offer precise corrosion mapping of critical areas. Providing owners and operators with more data (compared to the very minimum needed for compliance) can be a game changer for those looking for 21st century asset management. The RMS PA is the phased array ultrasonic testing inspection solution leading the way for complete corrosion mapping of critical assets like ship hulls and other marine vessels, inspecting at a higher resolution compared to conventional UT.

Long Range Ultrasonic Testing (LRUT) with the Teletest Focus+™ allows guided wave inspection of pipelines associated with marine vessels. Alternating Current Field Measurement (ACFM®) and Tangential Eddy Current Array (TECA™) inspection of welds through coatings is regularly used during marine vessel structural integrity assessments. In the absence of coating/paint, leak testing can also be used with vacuum boxes.

The Amigo2 supports a complete range of underwater probes, providing an excellent option for conducting non-intrusive UWILD assessments of hull welds or investigating damage to critical components.

Eddyfi Technologies has also perfected the Pulsed Eddy Current technique, or PEC, a non-destructive testing (NDT) tool suitable for detecting and sizing wall loss due to corrosion through almost any kind of surface, like the ones found on ship floors. The key benefit of using PEC over lined ship deck plates is simple: it mitigates the cost of not knowing. PEC can help monitor the progress of corrosion over time, using stiffeners as landmarks, and ignoring welds and studs (they do not affect PEC inspection results). This translates into a better understanding of corrosion mechanisms in deck plates, and therefore more efficient repair operations.

Eddyfi Technologies has a dedicated PEC ship floor inspection solution comprised of a 7-channel, small footprint probe able to cover 178 millimeters (7 inches) in a single pass and accurately determine the remaining wall thickness of carbon steel deck plates through floor coverings up to 38.1 millimeters (1.5 inches). The expert solution is compatible with the field-proven Eddyfi Lyft®: a state-of-the-art portable, rugged and battery-operated PEC instrument that provides real-time C-scan imaging and up to 15 readings per second for a fast and encoded scan.

Beyond mandated inspection, merchant fleets worldwide are being pressured to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Underwater Inspections in Lieu of Dry-Docking (UWILD) have become commonplace in the industry, using various technologies; we see Underwater Cleaning of Hulls, in Lieu of Dry-Docking as the next big step. Everybody recognizes that a clean ship hull is more efficient, but removing marine growth or biofouling is normally an expensive and time-consuming manual process.

Flying in an expert diving team by helicopter typically requires upwards of 24 hours' lead time, and each two- to three-day job represents an expense of tens of thousands of dollars, not including downtime costs. Human risk factors run high in hostile marine environments, especially at the waterline or when working with powered equipment. Eddyfi Technologies’ solutions can help save time and reduce maintenance costs by enabling ship personnel to perform all the cleaning required, without having to enter dry dock or use teams of divers. Divers will always have an important role in the marine industry, but our adaptable robotic systems are demonstrating their value when it comes to safety, economy, and the ability to operate continuously. Factor in zero requirements for airlifting, maritime support vessels, or humans in or under the water, and liability is drastically reduced. Eddyfi Technologies rises to the most complex marine industry challenges, providing the answers shipping operators have been searching for a long time, especially in the splash zone.

We’ve seen the addition of more advanced techniques including robotic integration for the NDT of marine assets and infrastructure like ships, rapidly deployed for many applications that exclude most ordinary remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). These additive technologies enable proactive management decisions that go above and beyond minimum inspection requirements to keep your fleet afloat. Eddyfi Technologies offers innovative solutions that enables marine shipping operators to realize operational efficiencies, help protect the environment, and reduce risk to human divers.

Our modular magnetic crawler systems travel above or below the waterline for comprehensive Remote Visual Inspection (RVI) and/or cleaning of the entire vessel structure. Like most of our remote-controlled robotic crawlers, the Inuktun MiniMag™ operates underwater on vertical, horizontal and inverted planes...even at the water line. It can be easily outfitted with Eddyfi Technologies’ sensors and probes, cleaning brushes, or waterjet tools. Whatever way you look, we offer a comprehensive solution to your ship inspection and maintenance requirements.