First Hard Contact Surface, Straight Beam Phased Array Probes Provide Long Operational Life

Huerth, Germany – The MB.FPA16 and B.FPA16 ultrasonic probes from GE Measurement & Control are the world’s first straight beam phased array probes to feature hard face, direct contact surfaces instead of non-abrasive protective membranes. As a result, they offer longer working life and higher sensitivity, without the need for delay lines, while providing the time-saving, comprehensive coverage of phased array technology. Typical applications include fast, accurate and comprehensive inspection of billets, welds and forgings in a wide range of industrial sectors.

As Weiwei Zhang, senior product manager at GE, explains, “By developing new manufacturing technology, we have been able to match a low impedance composite transducer material with a high impedance hard face protection. Consequently, there is no need for surface protection or delay lines which can cause recurring interface echoes, reducing the inspection range and affecting the probability of detection of small defects. In addition, the phased array operation of the probe eliminates the need for wedges, which further increases the probes’ sensitivity, especially for near-surface defects, and significantly reduces inspection times.”

The new probes are each available at frequencies of 2 MHz and 4 MHz. B.FPA16 probes have a longitudinal steering wave range of ±35°, and MB.FPA16 probes a steering range of ±45°, providing comprehensive sector scan coverage without the need for wedges. The high energy of the longitudinal wave enables the inspection of workpieces up to 100mm thick and a high bandwidth signal ensures high resolution of defects and near-surface defect detection.

With their ergonomic and robust housing, the probes offer ease of inspection in the harshest of applications and their low-profile, fingertip design, with a height of only 14mm, offers accessibility in areas of limited access, while their small footprint permits inspection of curved surfaces.

The new probes are suitable for use with a wide range of commercially available phased array flaw detectors, including GE’s Phasor, and they can also be used as conventional straight beam probes for thickness measurement, dynamic focusing and DAC sizing.

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