Inspectioneering
Sponsored White Paper

Phased Array Technology

Cutting Out the Noise

Olympus / Evident Scientific, January 11, 2022

Sponsored by   

Overview

Ultrasonic test instruments have been used in industrial applications for more than sixty years. Since the 1940s, the laws of physics that govern the propagation of high-frequency sound waves through solid materials have been exploited to detect flaws. Ultrasound can reveal hidden cracks, voids, porosity, and other internal discontinuities in metals, composites, plastics, and ceramics. The ultrasonic testing (UT) technique is also used to measure the thickness and analyze the properties of materials. Over the years, advances in the field have produced the phased array ultrasonic testing (PAUT) technique.

Phased array ultrasonic testing is an advanced nondestructive examination technique that utilizes a set of UT probes made up of numerous small piezoelectric elements, each of which is pulsed individually with computer-calculated timing (“phasing”). When these elements are excited using different time delays, the beams can be steered at different angles, focused at different depths, or multiplexed over the length of a long array, creating the electronic movement of the beam. Using phased array probes in direct contact with a component, whether mounted on a hard wedge, a water delay line, or even inside a wheel probe, gives inspectors the ability to quickly scan large areas for corrosion, cracking, and other defects with high resolution.

This white paper summarizes the basic principles of phased array, gives an overview of the required equipment, explains the kind of data generated by the technique, and provides a brief look at the advantages of phased array compared with conventional ultrasound.

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