Pulse Echo Crack Ultrasonic Testing

Pipeline cracks represent one of the most prevalent and serious threats to an asset’s operation, so identifying and sizing them is of critical importance.

0-degree pulse echo is not able to detect these features therefore, there’s a requirement for the same pulse echo technique but with a tilted arrangement of the sensors, allowing for the detection of cracks. NDT Global has experience inspecting 100s of miles to over 1,000 miles of pipelines with pulse echo for cracks. This technique is, to date, the best technique to detect cracks in liquid pipelines.

NDT Global employees at a pipeline operation

Pulse Echo crack utilizes a 45-degree shear wave obtained in the steel as a result of the incidence angle (sensor tilt). This shear wave “zig zags” in the pipe wall and is reflected to the sensors following the same path when a crack is detected. The time-of-flight differences between signal emission and reception indicate whether the anomalies are internal or external. Adding further precision to the feature evaluation, the received signal's amplitude is directly tied to a specific depth. The combination of these data points produce an accurate picture of the location, depth, and length of a potential crack. Our measurements are so precise that we can tell how severe (or minor) a feature might be based solely on the amplitude of the reflected signal. When we gather hundreds and thousands of these amplitude data points, we can paint a vivid picture of the exact location, orientation, type, and sizing of a crack in a given operation.

Image of an EVO tool

With NDT Global’s Pulse Echo Crack Detection, operators can get an exact picture of how deep and long a crack defect may be. As a result, mitigation efforts can be deferred if, for example, a pulse echo inspection indicates that a given crack feature is only 1 mm (0.04 in.) deep and is years away from reaching burst pressure. This saves time and money and maximizes safety. If your system is experiencing cracks or crack-like anomalies, contact us to learn how NDT Global can help identify and efficiently remediate them.

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Whether you’re ready to schedule an inspection or have questions about our process, our team can help get you started.

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