ATEC offers affordable ultrasonic flaw detector rental rates for UT, phased array, and eddy current flaw detectors from Olympus, RF System Lab, GE, and more. Call 800-404-2832
or request a quote and an ATEC associate will guide you to the right flaw detector, deliver it to you with immediate shipping, and empower you with the technical expertise necessary to navigate your ultrasonic testing equipment rental.
What is an Ultrasonic Flaw Detector?
Ultrasonic flaw detectors emit high-frequency sound waves that reflect flaws and create echo patterns, revealing hidden cracks, voids, porosity, and other irregularities in a variety of materials and structural components. Ultrasonic flaw detectors generate high-frequency sound waves through materials and record the echo patterns of their reflections. Since sound travels through different solids, liquids, and gases at unique speeds, and sound waves reflect in a predictable way, a flaw detector can locate and identify structural anomalies with ease. A transducer is the device that both generates the initial sound wave and receives the sound waves that return. Transducers convert electrical pulses into sound, and once the sound waves come back, having encountered a crack or void, a transducer translates the vibrations back into electrical impulses for analysis. Once sound data is collected, the flaw detector digitizes the data and displays it on a lightweight, portable flaw inspection system that can pair with a PC.
How Does Ultrasonic Testing Work?
An operator will take measurements, and then determine what sound signatures belong to standard parts, and which ones belong to faults like pores and disbands. Once a picture of the internal structure is achieved, the echo pattern is compared to relevant industry standards to determine whether the structure under test complies. There are two basic types of ultrasonic flaw testing: straight beam and angle beam.
- Straight Beam Testing: Straight beam testing is performed by sending sound waves directly into the structure under test. The operator defines the standard sound wave that reflects from the far surface of the object, and then sees if other waves return before the standard wave, heralding structural inconsistencies like objects or open pockets within. By analyzing these readings, an operator can get a clear picture of any faults within the structure.
- Angle Beam Testing: To find faults that are perpendicular to the flaw detector, angle beam testing is utilized, a test method in which sound waves are sent into the structure at an angle. Angle beam testing is common in welding flaw detection.
Choosing the Right Ultrasonic Flaw Detector
Leading-edge flaw detectors are compact, lightweight, and rely on microprocessor technology. A trained operator is necessary to interpret the ultrasonic waveform that is recorded, so simple UI and advanced analysis software is essential for testing. Flaw inspection systems generally consist of UT transducers, hardware/software designed for signal analysis, an LCD screen, and digital signal processing to enhance accuracy. When choosing a model, consider the following characteristics:
- Performance specifications: Look at the pulse repetition frequency (PRF), time-correlated gain, whether the model performs phased array ultrasonic testing (PAUT), and more.
- Eddy current testing capability: To test a material or structure that is an electrical conductor, eddy current test capabilities are necessary.
- Software UI: Being able to navigate the software is essential to successful ultrasonic testing.
- Resolution: High resolution results are essential for many applications.
- Design: Is it lightweight, portable, rugged?