Ultrasonic Inspection

Ultrasonic detection equipment makes it possible to locate defects in all types of materials. Minute cracks, checks, and voids too small to be seen by x-ray can be located by ultrasonic inspection. An ultrasonic test instrument requires access to only one surface of the material to be inspected and can be used with either straight line or angle beam testing techniques.

Two basic methods are used for ultrasonic inspection. The first of these methods is immersion testing. In this method of inspection, the part under examination and the search unit are totally immersed in a liquid couplant, which may be water or any other suitable fluid.

The second method is called contact testing, which is readily adapted to field use and is the method discussed in this chapter. In this method, the part under examination and the search unit are coupled with a viscous material, liquid or a paste, which wets both the face of the search unit and the material under examination.

There are three basic ultrasonic inspection methods: (1) pulse echo; (2) through transmission; and (3) resonance.

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