Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing (PAUT)

Inspection + Testing

Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing (PAUT) is an advanced method of ultrasonic testing that has applications in many industrial sectors including manufacturing, oil and gas, aerospace, and more. Unlike conventional ultrasonic testing, PAUT uses multiple ultrasonic elements and electronic time delays to shape the ultrasonic sound beam to a desired angle and focal distance.

  1. Array of Elements: A phased array probe consists of numerous small ultrasonic elements, each of which can be pulsed independently.
  2. Beam Steering and Focusing: By changing the timing (phasing) of the individual elements, the ultrasonic wave can be steered in a desired direction. This allows for the inspection of materials at various angles without the need to physically move the probe. This beam can also be focused at different depths in the material, enhancing the detection capabilities.
  3. Scanning: The probe is often raster-scanned over the surface of the part, and the data from each location are collected and used to construct an image of the internal structure of the part.
  4. Imaging: The collected data can be displayed in various ways, including a traditional A-scan (a graph of signal amplitude versus time), B-scan (a cross-sectional view), or even a 3D representation. This gives a clear view of the inner structure and any possible defects within the material.
  5. Advantages: PAUT provides many advantages over traditional ultrasonic testing, such as the ability to inspect more complex geometries, faster scanning, and better flaw characterization.
  6. Challenges: PAUT requires specialized equipment and highly trained and certified technicians. Understanding the complex data can be challenging and requires experience.
  7. Applications: It’s widely used in industries that require high levels of safety and reliability, such as in the inspection of welds in pipelines, pressure vessels, aerospace components, and more.