Many advances in Non-Destructive Examination (NDE) have occurred in recent years. Some of these are becoming common in typical industry applications and are slowly migrating their way into niche industries, such as high-pressure applications. These advanced NDE techniques include the use of Linear Phased Array (LPA) ultrasonic examination for volumetric examination and Eddy Current Array (ECA) technology for surface examination. Advancements in ultrasonic Guided Wave Testing (GWT) also show promise for the examination of long tubes, such as in tubular low density polyethylene (LDPE) reactors. Effective deployment and delivery of these advanced techniques is critical to the collection and analysis of the inspection data.
Common challenges found in high-pressure equipment include access issues such as small diameter deep bores, large and thick section components, weld overlays and examination of thick section welds, complex geometries, and small crack sizes required for detection due to materials and design.
Applying these modern techniques in new designs and updating of in-service inspection plans for this high-pressure equipment can lead to a more accurate assessment of the equipment’s fitness for continued service, reduced maintenance costs, proper asset management of key capital equipment, and reduced turn-around time.