Inspectioneering Journal

Detection of Erosion/Corrosion with NDE: Practical Considerations

By Joseph M. Mazzeo. This article appears in the September/October 1996 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.

This article is a practical review of Nondestructive Examination (NDE) methods that can be used to find Erosion/Corrosion (E/C) and/or Corrosion wear in fossil fuel power piping systems. The article is based on experience with PG&E's E/C detection program for fossil fuel power plants.

Ultrasonic Testing (UT)

The most widely accepted form of NDE to detect E/C wear is UT. Some of the method's pluses are:

  • It is easy to find qualified personnel to perform UT thickness testing. In fact, most maintenance personnel can adequately perform such tests with a minimum amount of training with inexpensive portable, digital UT thickness testing units not much larger than a calculator.
  • The method is highly accurate when proper calibration is utilized
  • UT is not limited by large diameter thick wall piping
  • If the piping surface is readily accessible (no insulation or coating) it is less expensive than RT.
  • UT is a widely accepted method for E/C detection.

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