A new ultrasonic End Test System that fulfills ultrasonic and electromagnetic API requirements for end testing of tubes for flaw, lamination and wall thickness, has been introduced by Magnetic Analysis Corporation (MAC). In many mills, inspection systems are not able to test to the very end of a tube. This requires the untested tube end to be cut off, resulting in a substantial loss of product and revenue. MAC’s new UT End Tester provides a solution to this problem.
The Echomac® UT End Tester consists of two independent, identical, test stations designed to inspect up to the first 500mm from each tube end, depending on the application. The tube is fed to one of these test stations where a tracking cone is inserted into the tube end, the tube is spun, and the end is inspected. The end plug cone tracks with the rotating tube and keeps the couplant out of the tube interior to prevent interference with the test signals. The tube is then transferred to the second test station where the other end is scanned. The stations each include Echomac® ultrasonic instrumentation with up to 10 UT elements, housed in a transducer box which contains the water couplant and follows the tube surface, as it is being spun.
Magnetic Analysis Corp.’s end tester UT
Included are multiple ultrasonic transducers for circumferential shear wave testing in each direction and/or a transducer array as required by the application, one normal beam for wall thickness and lamination testing, and two elements for upstream and two for downstream transverse shear wave testing.
Four wheels mounted on the transducer box have an innovative Automatic Pitch Control (APC) feature which provides accurate contact with the tube surface to maintain a constant distance between the transducers and the surface, eliminating adjustments of shear wave transducers and keeping dimension changeover time to a minimum. The follower wheels also automatically skew to achieve the proper angle to conform to any helical pitch and eliminate any force between the transducer box and the roll assembly. MAC recently shipped an End Test system designed to inspect up to 275mm from the end of seamless steel tube with a size range of 38 – 170 mm diameter. This system was customized for this application, but the test area could be longer or shorter, depending on the length of the uninspected end.
The floating transducer box and APC feature may also be adapted for use with existing mechanics that rotate the tube as it is moved past a single test station. Another possible use for this feature may be in eddy current and flux leakage applications.