GE’s Ultrasonic Testing Machine Offers Faster Geometric and Wall Thickness Inspection of Seamless Tube

Huerth, Germany – The new ROWA-WT ultrasonic test machine for seamless tube and pipe from GE Measurement & Control now combines high end signal processing with patented phased array (PA) ultrasonic technology. This allows all dimensional and wall thickness measurements to be carried out in compliance with API and EN specifications up to speeds greater than 2 metres/second, dependent on the tube diameter. The compact testing solution is seamlessly integrated into the production line and will boost the productivity of tube mills producing pipe for the oil and gas sector.

The ROWA-WT features phased array (PA) ultrasonic transducers, which are electronically controlled to provide full coverage of the tube circumference and are coupled to the surface by means of a rotating water jacket. There is no need to rotate the tube or move the transducers during testing. The machine is purpose-designed for carrying out dimensional and wall thickness measurement of seamless pipe: It measures inside and outside diameter and wall thickness, as well as checking for ovality, eccentricity inner wall deformation and laminations. It can also detect flaws to a level of 6.3, 6.0 and 3.2 mm flat bottom hole (FBH) depending on the specification. With the addition of GE’s USIP|xx electronics platform and the employment of the patented Paint Brush PA technology, all this can now be carried out at higher speeds.

The USIP|xx platform is used to digitize and evaluate the ultrasonic data from sets of phased array probes located circumferentially in the test chamber. All data within the measurement window is stored and partial sections of this data can be selected and quickly re-evaluated, using subcycling in just one pass of the machine. Wall thickness is displayed in C-scan format

“The ROWA testing machine is already well established as a fast means of testing seamless tube,” says Matthias Schwabe, product manager at GE. ”It provides contactless measurement in a small footprint. It requires minimal maintenance costs because of the absence of moving parts and offers quick change-over between different size tubes. It is an integrated solution with no need for any further process steps, such as laser measurement. With the introduction of the USIP|xx electronics platform and Paint Brush technology, the ROTA-WT is now an efficient, cost-effective and faster solution to seamless tube testing.”

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