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Radiographic testing

Radiographic Testing is regularly used for process control throughout manufacturing. This form of testing aims to detect subsurface discontinues in the final product, ceramics, welds, composite materials and electronic components. This testing can be used for the inspection of piping, storage tanks, refinery vessels and steel pressure vessels.

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Radiographic testing (RT)

Radiographic Testing is regularly used for process control throughout manufacturing. This form of testing aims to detect subsurface discontinues in the final product, ceramics, welds, composite materials and electronic components. This testing can be used for the inspection of piping, storage tanks, refinery vessels and steel pressure vessels.

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Close-Proximity Radiography System (LO-RAD)

Conventional radiography systems need intricate arrangements to protect humans from ionizing radiation, which comes from the radio isotopes involved.

Several major infrastructural challenges arise from this process. Moreover, a large area must be cordoned off for the duration of radiography work. This process results in a significant cost from the loss of man-hours. Close-proximity low radiation radiography is a development from the pre-existing radiographic equipment after the incorporation of additional radiation-shielding methods, and is used with the Selenium 75 source as opposed to LR192. The radiation beam is focused on the required area of inspection and shielding is used to avoid unnecessary radiation.

The close-proximity system requires the cordoning off of a very small area (as small as a radius of 3 metres). Therefore, the system eliminates the need to stop other fabrication work during this process, and can be operated 24 hours a day at any given location.

Ultrasonic Testing (UT)

Ultrasonic Testing is used effectively in locating discontinuities as well as in the accurate sizing of subsurface discontinuities in welded objects. The detection of non-metallic inclusions, segregation of elements, and measurement of thickness are other areas where UT is frequently utilized.

An ultrasonic test can also measure the thickness and mechanical properties of a material, or to inspect the inner structure of a material for cracks and/or voids. Due to its simple characteristics, UT is used to assess a multitude of metallic, non-metallic and composite goods, such as the following: welds, joints, forgings, castings, sheets, tubing, plastics, ceramics and structural components.

Because UT is able to accurately detect surface and subsurface problems in a range of different materials it is one of the most useful methods available to quality assurance personnel.

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  • When normal radiography cannot be used because of personnel activity and work
  • Used during shutdown jobs when every minute is invaluable
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Liquid Penetrant Testing (PT)

Surface abnormalities come in a variety of forms, sizes and shapes. Visual inspection might not detect subtle discontinuities so special techniques and methods are needed for the detection of said abnormalities.

For this reason, liquid penetrant testing is aptly suited for detecting discontinuities such as cracks and porosity.  LPT is a commonly utilized NDT technique, popular for two main reasons: it is simple and flexible. LPT can inspect almost any given material, provided that its surface is not exceedingly uneven or porous.‎

Magnetic Particle Inspection (MPI)

Magnetic Particle Inspection is a non-destructive testing method, under the principle of Magnetic Flux Induction. MPI is an NDT method applied under the principle of Magnetic Flux Induction.

MPI seeks to locate surface & near surface irregularities, rendering them visible to the naked eye by producing a magnetic field on ferromagnetic material using several sources (such as permanent magnetic or electro-magnetic using AC or DC currents). Magnetic particles (either visible under a white light or fluorescent under a ultra-violet light) are used and the ensuing indications generated due to discontinuities in the material are analysed under the relevant standards and codes.

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Positive Material Identification (PMI)

Traceability of proper material is very important in the determination of compatibility issues, design, corrosion resistance, and compliance to codes and standards, for example ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code.‎‎

Applications

PMI is used to verify the composition of a material or when the material testing certificate is not available. PMI is a key testing tool, and can be used in construction projects.

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Hardness Survey

Hardness testing is widely used to characterize materials and establish whether they are fit for their planned use. Testing is performed by pressing an indenter that is harder than the test sample using a specific force to determine the hardness value by measuring the depth or size of the dent.

Hardness testing is generally used to verify the appropriate heat treating method and a correlation between the test result and the desired material property allows for proper resource utilization and practical R&D applications

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Ferrite Testing (FT)‎

Because moderate ferrite levels shield stainless steel and duplex steel weld metals from hot-cracking related weld defects, testing ferrite levels allows engineers to quantify the amount of weld metal ferrite to ensure fabrications are free of cracks. All magnetizable structure sections are measured according to the magnetic induction method (deltaferrite, martensite, and other phases).

Hardness testing is generally used to verify the appropriate heat treating method and a correlation between the test result and the desired material property allows for proper resource utilization and practical R&D applications

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Advanced NDT

Time of Flight Diffraction (TOFD)

 In refining and chemical plants, accurately monitoring and sizing discontinuities continues to become an essential part of operations, even more so when a risk-based inspection is utilised. As the need for techniques to be more accurate, reliable, effective (in time and cost) and straightforward increases, the TOFD, as a method of detecting faults in welds, has become a broadly employed tool across the industry.

It has great advantages in the speed of detection of defects, and is very sensitive and accurate in the defect sizing technique in general use. One of the important advantages of using TOFD for weld inspection is the absence of radiation. In several validation projects, TOFD has shown a proven record of a high detection rate with very high reliability in preservice and in-service inspections.‎

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1. Pre-service inspections

  • Weld inspection of vessels, pipelines and plates

2. In-service inspections

  • Weld inspection of vessels, pipelines and plates
  • Detection of corrosion underneath reinforcement rings of ‎nozzles
  • Cladding thickness measurement
  • Determining depth of cracks

Phased Array (PA)‎

 PA allows for the detection of discontinuities that are located in difficult to observe configurations, requiring the use of special ultrasonic testing methods. PA combined with a rotating sound beam can reach almost any angle and is the best tool to determine and visualize discontinuities.‎

PA testing has several key benefits; the capability to examine intricate geometries; a fast and efficient speed of inspection; an improved accuracy in results; good repeatability, and the ability to visualise signs in base materials and/or welds through the use of B, C, D and S-scans (including all A-scans), allowing for data storage and providing a safer method than other NDT testing.

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Applications

  • Weld inspection of vessels, pipelines and plates
  • Weld inspection of complex geometries such as nozzle-‎welds
  • Flange face corrosion inspection
  • Fast corrosion scanning, utilizing 0 degree angled wedges
  • Code case inspection in combination with TOFD and/or ‎pulse-echo

Tube Inspection

Internal Rotary Inspection System (IRIS)‎

Pipes and tubes can be tested using an ultrasonic method known as IRIS, wherein a probe is inserted into a tube flooded with water, then is slowly released while gathering data. Revealed defects include metal loss from both in and outside of the pipe wall.

Applications

  • Boilers
  • Feedwater heaters
  • Air coolers
  • Condensers
  • Eddy Current Testing (ECT)‎

    ECT is carried out in order to examine non-ferromagnetic tubing, and is appropriate for spotting a wide range of metal discontinuities: wall loss, baffle cuts, erosion & corrosion, pitting and wear.

    Applications

  • Feedwater Heaters
  • Condensers
  • Heat Exchangers
  • Air Conditioners
  • Magnetic Flux Leakage (MFL)‎

    The MFL method is optimal when inspecting ferromagnetic tubes, as it gives a relatively accurate understanding of corrosion-induced metal loss in heat exchanger tubes in a short time span.

    Applications

  • Feedwater heaters
  • Air coolers
  • Carbon steel heat exchangers
  • Remote Field Testing (RFT)‎

    Two coils are utilised in RFT: the driver coil (also known as the transmit coil) and the pickup coil. A low-frequency AC signal is used to excite the driver coil, and the pickup coil is given a signal which is the vector sum of a small RFT signal which comes from the tube wall, and a direct coupled signal from the diver coil.

    Applications

  • Boilers
  • Feedwater heaters
  • Carbon steel heat exchangers
  • Magnetic Flux Leakage (MFL) Tank Floor Inspection

    Regular inspection of storage tanks ensures that the walls and bottom plates are sound, as tank floor plates are susceptible to corrosion from the soil beneath them, increasing the risk of hazardous chemical contamination. Using MFL allows for maximum area coverage in a short time span, so that any indication that exceeds the threshold is verified by the ultrasonic straight beam.

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  • Heat Treating Services
  • An exceptional, experienced and motivated team provides a variety of services including the treatment of: weld joints, piping, regenerators, stripper columns, pressure vessels, boiler headers, modules, deck pipelines and structures and boiler heater tubes.

    Sources of residual stresses: Welding, Casting, Forging, Rolling, Forming, Drawing, Hammering, Bending, Shearing, Machining

    What heat treating does:

  • Relieves stresses
  • Removes cold work
  • Improves dimensional stability
  • Increases corrosion resistance
  • Improves toughness
  • Improves ductility
  • Equipment specs:

  • 70kVA – 3 phase double wound class H
  • 380/415 V
  • 106 Amps
  • 6 chancels/unit
  • Post Weld Heat Treating (PWHT)‎

    In PWHT, steel is heated to a temperature below or close to the lower critical temperature with a specific rate of heating. It is held at the temperature for a desired length of time, followed by cooling with a specific rate up to a certain temperature. It tempers the metal and reduces the tensile stress, minimizing the risk of brittle fractures. There is no change in grain structure.

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     Weld Preheating and Concurrent Heating

    Heat Treatment of the welded joint, normally to sub-critical temperatures after completion of welding operations.

    Electrical Resistance Method

    • Furnace or Internal firing
    • Stress Relaxation
    • Tempering
    • Hydrogen Removal
    • Improvement in material’s hardness
    • Toughness and metallurgical properties of the weld
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    Normalizing

    Normalizing is the treatment of steel by heating it above the transformation temperature, holding for a certain time, and then cooling it to room temperature in still or slightly agitated air. This is done to remove the processing stress and provide a more uniform structure.

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    Solution Annealing

    Austenitic stainless steels are heated to above 1050°C and held for the desired time followed by cooling to room temperature within few minutes by quenching/blowing the air.‎

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    Hydrogen De-Gassing

    This de-gassing process helps to improve the integrity of the welded components whilst also reducing the possibility of cracking from fabrication. Hydrogen de-gassing occurs before the welding/cutting of older process equipment, protecting it during the cutting and welding phases.‎