Ultrasound technology offers numerous possibilities in the field of testing and condition-based maintenance.
Ultrasonic testing can be used for various applications:
- Leak detection
- Electrical inspection
- Mechanical testing of bearings and lubrication/valves and steam traps
At a time when industry is looking to make cost-savings, leaks in networks under pressure or under vacuum are sources of potentially major financial losses in terms of energy consumption. Furthermore, the presence of leaks in networks can cause disruption to production processes (lack of pressure), which may have an impact on manufacturing.
Ultrasound technology makes it possible to detect any type of leak for systems under any kind of gas pressure and vacuum systems. Ultrasonic detectors detect the turbulence produced by the flow of gas, as it moves from the high-pressure side to the low-pressure side.
Leak detection helps reduce energy losses and the associated costs after the detected leaks have been repaired
Ultrasound technology is used in the electricity sector to identify electrical partial discharges, Corona effect, tracking or arcing. This technology is used alongside infrared thermal imaging, mainly in high-voltage sector.
The principle of detecting electrical faults using ultrasound involves measuring the high-frequency ultrasonic signals generated by air molecules, excited by ionisation of the air produced by the presence of electrical partial discharges, Corona effect, tracking or arcing.
Electrical inspection using ultrasonic detection helps identify faulty equipment (cells, transformers, isolators, etc.) before potential disasters occur that could have major safety implications or compromise the availability of the production tool
Mechanical testing of bearings and lubrication/valves and steam traps
Ultrasound is used in the monitoring of rotating machines to inspect the condition of bearings, detect early stage bearing wear and identify the cause of it, or detect a bearing lubrication problem (over or under lubrication). Ultrasound technology is also used to inspect valves and steam traps which can be extremely costly if they fail (energy losses, production quality or safety).
Ultrasonic detection helps identify leaking steam traps and valves (stuck in open position, stuck in closed position, jammed equipment, partially open, etc.).