Innovative adaptation of inspection technology

21/07/2015 - Innovation and R&D, Power generation
Vallourec adapts non-destructive testing technology for boiler waterwall tubes.

​​Vallourec experts adapted in an innovative way a well-known inspection technology used in the manufacturing process for the assessment of in-situ tubes in power plants​.

Assisting a power plant operator to maintain boiler waterwall tubes, experts from Vallourec proposed a solution based on ultrasonic phased array technology, a non-destructive testing technique used in tube manufacturing plants, which is also suitable for the detection of thin inner cracks in a large range of material and tube thicknesses.
On-site testing was performed during the short period of the annual boiler shutdown. More than 8,000 meters of tubes were tested during these two weeks. The experts classified the indications that were found according to their ultrasonic maximum amplitude and compared the amplitudes to those of notches of different depths.
Due to the fast and reliable non-destructive testing method developed by Vallourec, the power plant maintenance management team was able to take quick decisions before restarting the boiler. 
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