Understanding Corrosion in Water Pipelines: A Guide for Pipeline Designers


Ultrasonic Flaw Detection (UFD)

Last updated: May 23, 2019

What Does Ultrasonic Flaw Detection (UFD) Mean?

Ultrasonic flaw detection (UFD) refers to a collection of testing procedures that make use of ultrasonic pulse waves with frequencies ranging from 0.1-15 MHz. UFD is non-destructive in nature and is often used to monitor pipeline corrosion.


Corrosionpedia Explains Ultrasonic Flaw Detection (UFD)

Ultrasonic flaw detection (UFD) uses a device to identify the presence of inhomogeneities of density in materials. For instance, if a pipe has a crack, UFD devices detect the flaw and isolate its position, even though the flaw may not by physically identifiable to the naked eye.

UFD devices operate by sending high frequency vibrations into the part to be inspected. The time intervals of arrival and reflection of the vibrations are an indication of the degree of degradation and/or corrosion in the area.

Ultrasonic waves are mechanical vibrations traveling through a medium (solid, liquid or gas) at a specific speed, in a fixed direction. When they encounter a boundary with a different medium (such as rust) they will be reflected or absorbed according to density differences. Some governing physics principles of ultrasonic flaw detection are:

  • Frequency
  • Velocity
  • Wavelength

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