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Ultrasonic flaw detection

Ultrasound flaw detection works in much the same way as an echo sounder, propagating short pulses of high frequency sound focused in a narrow beam into the material being tested. The pulses are bounced back when they strike edges or discontinuities, and the signals thus returned are recorded and analysed based on their transit times and signal strength compared to the original signal emitted. As sound propagates through a medium at a constant velocity determined by the characteristic of that particular material, echo transit times can be calibrated and distances/thickness and anomalies detected.

Ultrasound flaw detection does have drawbacks inherent the nature of using ultrasound, with limited penetration into cored structures (eg foam sandwich panels). Other materials that attenuate sound such as low density fillers can also cause irregularities.

However ultrasound flaw detection is a valuable tool in a range of NDE applications including looking for cracks and delaminations in composite structures, including carbon masts and spars, and in assessing the conditions of key structural metalwork such as chainplates, fasteners & keelbolts, as well as rigging terminals.

For more information on the use of Ultrasound Flaw Detection, please get in touch using our Contact Us page or via the link opposite.



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