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Ultrasonic Thickness Inspection

Definition - What does Ultrasonic Thickness Inspection mean?

An ultrasonic thickness inspection is a nondestructive process that uses ultrasonic waves to determine the thickness of a given material. The ultrasonic waves are sent through a material and then feedback from those waves is used to determine the material's thickness. An ultrasonic thickness inspection is especially useful when only one side of the material is accessible to inspection personnel.

Corrosionpedia explains Ultrasonic Thickness Inspection

An ultrasonic thickness inspection uses nearly the same basic equipment as all other forms of ultrasonic testing. A transducer and pulser are used to send the ultrasonic waves through a material. A receiver then picks up the return signals of those waves. A computer takes the data from the receiver and displays it on a screen or printout for a technician to interpret. The data is used to determine the thickness by calculating the amount of time it takes the waves to travel through the material.

Ultrasonic thickness inspections are very useful when the other side of the material is not accessible and for inspecting pipelines.

An ultrasonic thickness inspection is perhaps most commonly used to ensure that a material has not become corroded. Although the visible side of a material may appear to be in excellent condition, the inside may be subjected to different conditions and therefore may have corroded. An example of this is a pressure vessel, where an ultrasonic thickness inspection can be used to ensure that corrosion has not compromised the integrity of the material. Several ultrasonic thickness inspections may have to be taken in multiple locations because the inspection only checks the thickness where the transducer is placed.

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